Australia shares ride Wall Street higher; NZ post minor gains

By Rushil Dutta

July 10 (Reuters) – A rally in Australian financial and
consumer stocks helped drive up its share market on Monday as
positive sentiment spilled over from Wall Street on better than
expected jobs data.

The benchmark Australian index snapped three
sessions of losses to gain 0.7 percent, or 39.23 points, to
5,742.80 by 0213 GMT.

The index lost 0.3 percent last week, while shedding nearly
1 percent on Friday.

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 of an addition of
179,000.

While the robust jobs 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.

“Markets are reacting positively to the data. Australian
shares are tracking Wall Street which posted gains on Friday
after strong employment data boosted confidence in the U.S.
economy,” said senior analyst Adam Tout at CPS Capital in Perth.

Financial stocks, tracking profits in U.S. peers, were the
biggest gainers on the benchmark.

The ‘Big Four’ Australian banks were the top performers by
weight, rising between 0.6 percent and 1 percent.

The consumer cyclicals and durables sectors also contributed
handily to the overall gains, with retailing giants Woolworths
and Wesfarmers rising 1.2 percent and 0.5
percent respectively.

The local tech sector too mirrored a rise in U.S.
peers, with online property consultant REA Group up 0.7
percent.

At the other end, basic materials wound up as the only
losing sector as base metals prices saw some weakness, while
iron ore prices rose.

The most-traded iron ore on the Dalian Commodity Exchange
gained on Friday after port 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 month before.

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.

Fortescue and BHP were down about 0.4 percent each, while
Rio Tinto was flat.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
marginally, adding 0.1 percent, or 9.71 points, at 7,631.84, as
gains in financial and technology stocks offset losses in
consumer shares.

Accounting software maker Xero Ltd was the biggest
gainer on the benchmark by weight, up 2 percent.

(Additional reporting by Chandini Monnappa; Editing by Shri
Navaratnam)

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