By Rushil Dutta
July 10 (Reuters) – Australian shares snapped a three-day
losing streak on Monday, pushed up by financial and consumer
stocks, as optimism spread from Wall Street on
better-than-expected U.S. jobs data.
The benchmark Australian index finished up 0.4
percent, or 20.83 points, at 5,724.4.
On Friday, the index shed nearly 1 percent, producing a loss
of 0.3 percent for the week.
Wall Street stocks ended higher on Friday after U.S. Labour
Department data showed the world’s biggest economy added 222,000
jobs last month, exceeding expectations for 179,000.
While the robust job data puts the Federal Reserve on course
to raise interest rates once more this year, subdued wage growth
may give the central bank room to pause if needed.
Australian financial stocks, tracking profits in U.S. peers,
were the biggest gainers on the benchmark.
Shares of the ‘Big Four’ banks, rose between 0.4 percent and
0.9 percent, contributing to the index’s advance.
Telecom firms were lifted by a near 1 percent rise in
Telstra Corp shares, the biggest in the sector by
However, basic materials and energy shares fell. While base
metals prices recovered from earlier losses, oil prices remained
under pressure, and iron ore gained.
The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange
gained on Friday after data from Australia showed iron
ore shipments to China from Australia’s Port Hedland terminal
dropped to 36.6 million tonnes in June from 38 million tonnes
the previous month.
Port Hedland is used by three of Australia’s top four iron
ore miners, BHP Billiton, Fortescue Metals Group
and Gina Rinehart’s Hancock Prospecting.
BHP lost about 0.3 percent and Fortescue
shed almost 2 percent.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index finished
0.5 percent lower at 7,583.95 as industrials and consumer
cyclicals stocks slipped.
Auckland International Airport and Fletcher
Building Ltd were the biggest losers on the benchmark
by weight, down about 2.3 percent each.
(Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard