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    Sydney - Friday - November 25: (RWE Aust Business News) -

    The Australian sharemarket edged higher in active end-of-month trading this morning in the absence of any leads from Wall Street which was closed for the Thanksgiving holiday.

    At midday the All Ordinaries index had risen 5.4 points to 4600.3 and the ASX200 index was up 6.3 points at 4658.6.

    In futures the December SPI200 contract rose eight points to 4670.

    Trading was busy with turnover of $2.9 billion after two hours, comprising 408 rises, 392 falls and 315 steadies.

    Rio Tinto topped the turnover by value list with trading worth $401 million, and rose 60c to $62.49.

    BHP Billiton, a close second on the list with $398 million,
    gained 16c to $22.02 and Alumina put on 3c to $6.54.

    Banks lost some ground with National 14c lower at $32.76, Westpac slipped 10c to $22.27 and ANZ shed 6c to $23.92 but Commonwealth held out with a gain of 11c to $42.

    Macquarie Bank was 17c ahead at $68.52, AMP jumped 12c to $7.87 and IAG rose 6c to $5.34, Lend Lease improved 13c to $14.14, Sims Group advanced 26c to $16.89, James Hardie lost 6c to $8.40, Boral put on 5c to $8.19, Telstra rose 4c to $3.94, Unitab fell 11c to $12.70, Aristocrat Leisure added 5c to $12.65, Wesfarmers declined 19c to $36.76, Leighton
    slipped 9c to $17.30, Brambles fell 6c to $9.18, Patrick Corp put on 5c to $7.19, Qantas added 3c to $3.75, Woolworths shed 6c to $17.44 but Coles Myer gained 7c to $10.10, AGL improved 12c to $16.44, Symbion
    health dropped 8c to $3.51 and Cochlear was 23c higher at $39.99.

    Woodside Petroleum climbed 75c to $34.70 in oil and gas and Santos added 3c to $11.38 but Caltex lost 10c to $21.21.

    Among the goldminers Newcrest slipped 4c to $20.68 and Newmont eased 1c to $6.30.

    In New Zealand the NZSE-50 index was down 4.9 points at 3111.8 while Tokyo had lost 69 points to 14,673.

    Gold is worth $US494.30 an ounce and the Australian dollar is fetching US73.73c.
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