Trent Copeland of the Blues celebrates with team mates after taking the wicket of Rob Quiney of the Bushrangers during day two of the Sheffield Shield match between Victoria and New South Wales in Alice Springs. Matt King/Getty Images

Australian stocks closed higher.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,168.20 +49.17 +0.96%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,226.40 +50.71 +0.98%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7589 +0.0038 +0.50%

The market was encouraged by rising commodity prices and by signs from the US that the Fed will take its time lifting interest rates.

Mining and energy stocks recovered, bringing the big four banks along for the ride. The ASX, however, couldn’t quite break through 5200 points.

The market is up 5.8% this month but down 2.4% since the start of 2016.

The Australian dollar hit 76 US cents for the for the first time since July last year on official jobs numbers show unemployment falling to 5.8%.

BHP added 2.4% to $17.29, Woodside Petroleum 2.2% to $26.62 and Fortescue Metals 9% to $2.65.

The Commonwealth Bank closed 1.7% higher at $77.38.

Stem cell treatment biotech company Mesoblast shares closed 15.7% higher to $2.80 after reports of a potential treatment for type 1 diabetes.

The top stories Thursday:

1. Jobs growth underwhelms. Just 300 jobs added in February, according to the ABS. But the unemployment rate fell to 5.8%. Also read: Employment growth over the past decade.

2. Better than expected. Myer’s profit drops 4% as the big retailer rolls out its new strategy. Myer added 12.7% to close at $1.24.

3. Another retailer smashes it. Oroton posted a 73% rise in half year profit to $3.8 million as it concentrates on its own luxury brand after ditching Brooks Brothers. Oroton closed 27% higher at $2.61.

4. Two for one. SurfStitch has appointed co-founder Lex Pedersen and Europe head Justin Stone as joint CEOs after the sudden departure of another co-founder, Justin Cameron.

5. Fewer jobs, better share price. Staff at the Sydney Morning Herald and The Age were this morning told by email that the “equivalent of 120 full-time jobs” would be cut from the Fairfax Media budget. Fairfax shares jumped about 5% on the news. They closed 2.7% higher at $0.79.

6. At the top of the heap. The most expensive suburbs to buy a home in Australia. Also read: What $1 million will buy in Sydney’s property market.

7. On trashing the mini bar. A review of a Sydney hotel with a free mini bar and happy hour.

NOW WATCH: Money & Markets videos

Want to read a more in-depth view on the trends influencing Australian business and the global economy? BI / Research is designed to help executives and industry leaders understand the major challenges and opportunities for industry, technology, strategy and the economy in the future. Sign up for free at