(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Australian shares have galloped to a 22 month high today with the S&P ASX 200 closing up 35.6 points, or 0.7%, to 4,971.3 as investors focused on strong Chinese trade data.
China's exports grew 25% in January from a year ago, beating expectations of a 17.5% rise while imports climbed 28.8%, above expectations of a 23.5% rise.
This reflects China's strongest trade performance since April 2011 and more than offset weak leads from Wall Street and the Reserve Bank of Australia lowering its gross domestic product forecast for 2013.
The broader All Ords was also up 33.6 points, or 0.7%, to 4.989.4.
Healthcare and Materials were amongst the two highest gaining sectors, rising 1.7% to 12,355.6 points and 1.2% to 10,992.5 points respectively.
Standing out from the crowd was Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) which gained 1.17, or 5.01%, to 24.52 on the prospect of higher production in the second half of the current financial year from the Cadia East and Lihir Million Ounce Plant Upgrade projects.
Other big miners also performed well, with BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP) up 0.30, or 0.8%, to 37.95, Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) up 0.92, or 1.34%, to 69.60, and Fortescue Metals Group (ASX: FMG) up 0.07, or 1.44%, to 4.94.
Notable healthcare stocks include Acrux (ASX: ACR) up 0.09, or 2.6%, to 3.55, Cochlear (ASX: COH) gained 1.06, or 1.54%, to 70 while CSL Limited (ASX: CSL) put on 1.28, or 2.28%, to 57.51.
The big four banks also continued their run to the top with ANZ Bank (ASX: ANZ) up 0.61, or 2.22%, to 28.12, National Australia Bank (ASX: NAB) gaining 0.39, or 1.36%, to close at 29.02, Commonwealth Bank (ASX: CBA) up 0.13, or 0.2%, to 64.83 and Westpac Bank (ASX: WBC) up 0.12, or 0.43%, to 28.08.
International Goldfields' (ASX: IGS) was up 4.35% to 0.024 after proposed merger partner Santa Fe Gold Corporation (OTCBB: SFEG) negotiated a A12 million contract with Korea's LS Nikko for the sale of high value gold-silver concentrates.
Importantly, this provides Santa Fe with an additional market for final product from its Summit Mine operations in New Mexico.
The contract covers a minimum of 360 tonnes of concentrates that will be shipped to LS Nikko's Onsan Smelter in Korea during 2013.
TNG Limited (ASX:TNG) put on 3.41% to 0.091 following its confirmation of a potential resource upgrade at its Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project on the back of positive results from reverse circulation drilling.
The 59 reverse circulation holes for a total of 7,189 metres was designed to upgrade the current inferred and indicated resource for the Mount Peake project at 160 million tonnes at 0.3% V2O5, 5% TiO2 and 23% Fe, to indicated and measured status.
Sample analysis from the drill holes show that all but four of the 59 holes drilled or 93% intersected significant grades and widths of V-Ti-Fe mineralisation.
The best intercept was at 147 metres at 0.48% V2O5, 8.80% TiO2 and 31.9%Fe.