Australia shares up tracking Wall Street surge; NZ climbs

By Sindhu Chandrasekaran

June 29 (Reuters) – Materials and financial stocks drove
Australian shares higher on Thursday, fuelled by gains in
commodity prices and an overnight surge on Wall Street.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.9 percent or 52.80
points to 5,808.50 by 0311 GMT. The benchmark ended 0.7 percent
higher Wednesday.

The overnight rally in Wall Street was helped by financial
stocks which rose after the Federal Reserve ratified plans from
U.S. banks to use extra capital for stock buybacks and
dividends.

Christopher Conway, head of research and trading at
Australian Stock Report, said that after a great deal of
commentary over bank taxes and risks in the property market, any
positive coverage of financial institutions was likely to be
welcomed by Australian investors.

The financials index rose as much as 1.6 percent to
its highest in more than a month.

The “Big Four” banks were among the top five gainers on the
benchmark after they rose between 1.6 percent and 2.1 percent.

Bank of Queensland Ltd rose as much as 2.6 percent
to its highest since May 23 while Macquarie Group Ltd
climbed 2.1 percent.

The benchmark also gained some support from iron ore which
rallied more than 3 percent on Wednesday, hitting its highest in
a month.

The metals and mining index advanced 2.1 percent,
its biggest intraday percentage gain in over two months.

BHP Billiton Ltd rose as much as 2.4 percent, its
best day since April 10. Miners Rio Tinto Ltd climbed
2.3 percent while South32 Ltd rose as much as 2.6
percent to a two-week high.

The three miners and the mining index are on track to record
a sixth session of gains.

Gold prices also rose overnight as the dollar weakened for a
second straight day.

Newcrest Mining Ltd climbed 1.2 percent while
Evolution Mining Ltd rose 4.3 percent.

Real-estate was down with Aveo Group and BWP Trust
each falling 3.5 percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.6
percent or 43.89 points to 7,668.38.

Healthcare and consumer discretionary stocks led the broad
based gains on the index.

Retirement community operator Summerset Group Holdings Ltd
advanced 4.8 percent while online marketplace operator
Trade Me Group Ltd hit a one-month high after rising as
much as 1.9 percent.

New Zealand’s business confidence hit a nine-month high in
June which was led by the agricultural sector, an ANZ Bank
survey showed on Thursday.

For more individual stocks activity click on

(Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran in Bengaluru; Additional
reporting by Chris Thomas; Editing by Eric Meijer)


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