The share market has posted modest gains to close at a three-and-a-half month high.

With Wall Street closed for the US Labour Day holiday, Australian investors took their lead from overnight gains on European markets.

The All Ordinaries index finished 11 points higher, or 0.2 per cent, at 5,189.

The ASX 200 gained eight points to 5,197.

The mining sector posted some of the healthiest gains, though resources companies also topped the list of losers.

Ausdrill surged 15 per cent and Rio Tinto rose 3.1 per cent, well ahead of a 0.6 per cent gain for rival BHP Billiton.

But Discovery Metals closed down 10.7 per cent and Perseus Mining lost 9.2 per cent.

Transfield Services closed 8.4 per cent higher and Bluescope Steel gained 4.7 per cent.

The major banks mostly ended higher, led by a 0.4 per cent gain for Westpac, but the Commonwealth Bank slipped 0.2 per cent.

The Reserve Bank at its September board meeting.

Meanwhile, official figures released today showed July was another poor month for retailers, with total sales rising by just 0.1 per cent.

There was more bad news from the ABS today, with figures showing the current account deficit grew by 7 per cent to $9.4 billion in the June quarter.

The Australian dollar slid when the ABS data was released but bounced back on the Reserve Bank's decision.

Around 5:00pm AEST, the dollar was buying 90.33 US cents, 68.56 euro cents, 58.04 British pence and 115.38 New Zealand cents.

Tapis crude oil in Singapore was selling for about $US120.71 cents a barrel.

The spot gold price was $US1,390.28 an ounce.


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