1. Australia shares rise across the board, Greece concerns ease

Australia shares rise across the board, Greece concerns ease

Australian shares rose 1.1 percent on Thursday as buyers piled into all sectors and investors took a calm view of the possibility that Greece might leave the Euro.

By: | Published: July 2, 2015 9:20 AM

Australian shares rose 1.1 percent on Thursday as buyers piled into all sectors and investors took a calm view of the possibility that Greece might leave the Euro.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 62.536 points to 5578.200 by 0312 GMT, headed for its third day of gains. The benchmark climbed 1 percent on Wednesday.

“The bulls are in control,” said Chris Conway, head of research and trading at Australian Stock Report, adding that investors did not seem overly worried by events in Greece.

“Even though they’re still pressing ahead with the referendum on Sunday, there has already been some evidence to suggest the parties can come together and come to some sort of agreement regardless of which way the Greek people vote,” he said.

A defiant Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras urged Greeks on Wednesday to reject an international bailout deal, backtracking from a conciliatory letter written 24 hours before to creditors asking for a new bailout that would accept many of their terms.

Gains were recorded across all sectors, including mining despite weakening iron ore prices.

Mineral explorer Universal Coal PLC rose as much as 10 percent after a new mine was approved.

The financial sector led the gains with Westpac up 1.7 percent and NAB rising 1.5 percent.

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New Zealand stocks also pushed higher for a third consecutive session, buoyed by support for stocks with overseas operations or exports which may benefit from a lower currency.

The benchmark NZX-50 share index was 0.6 percent higher at 5,827.57.

Casino operator Sky City, which has two establishments in Australia and seeks high-roller international gamblers for its flagship Auckland casino, was up 2.3 percent, having hit a three-week high, while F&P Healthcare, which sells many of its products in U.S. dollars, rose 2.6 percent.

The New Zealand dollar hit a five-year low on Thursday after another weak dairy auction and stronger U.S. data. It has fallen about 14 percent so far this year.

Among the other gainers were telecommunications company Spark, up 1.6 percent as it reaffirmed its earnings outlook after the sector regulator detailed price controls on Chorus, which operates the old copper-line phone network and is building an ultrafast broadband network.

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