Stocks to watch on the Australian stock exchange at the close of trade on Thursday:
BXB - BRAMBLES - up 10 cents, or 1.32 per cent, at $7.69
Pallet company Brambles says it has completed the acquisition of container supplier Pallecon for 135 million euros ($A170.82 million).
CBA - COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA - up 52 cents, or 0.83 per cent, at $63.24
Commonwealth Bank shares finished hit an all-time high of $63.29 during Thursday's trade.
IAG - IAG AUSTRALIA - up three cents, or 0.64 per cent, at $4.72
IAG, the owner of the CGU and NRMA Insurance brands, has raised its catastrophe reinsurance programme to $5 billion for 2013, from $4.7 billion in 2012.
RIO - RIO TINTO - up $1.63, or 2.41 per cent, at $69.25
BHP - BHP BILLITON - up 31 cents, or 0.82 per cent, at $38.15
Mining shares extended gains on the back of an almost four per cent surge in the iron ore price in overseas markets on New Year's Eve.
FMG - FORTESCUE METALS GROUP - up 12 cents, or 2.24 per cent, at $5.04
Fortescue shares were closing in on a six-month high after breaching $5 on Thursday amid global optimism and an increase in the iron ore price.