Stronger trading volumes as the Australia 200 index rises points to investors being forced back into the share market. Gains on European and US exchanges, and rising commodity prices are indicating more robust growth than recent data showed. Miners are leading, with a focus on gold stocks as the yellow metal threatens the US $1,300 level. However broad based buying has almost every sector ahead on the day.

Investors continue to favour iron exposures. With 4% of global iron ore supplied shuttered after the Vale disaster prices continue to climb. Dahlian iron ore futures are up another 1% and sitting above 628 yuan. Rio and BHP are both higher this morning, but the closing of the gap between higher and lower grade ores is favouring Fortescue.  Gold mining heavy weight Newcrest is climbing back toward seven year highs.

Potential mergers and acquisitions are in focus as leasing and services group Eclipx is in trading halt pending an announcement that the company says will include a trading update. Bidder Macmillan Shakespeare noted the announcement and “will consider its position” in light of the announcement. Sigma Pharmaceuticals is trading higher despite informing the market last week it was no longer discussing a deal with rival API.