1. Australia shares rise, aided by banks, China Q2 growth number

Australia shares rise, aided by banks, China Q2 growth number

Australian shares rose on Wednesday, led by banks, as China reported better-than-expected growth and uncertainty about Greece lessened.

By: | Published: July 15, 2015 9:01 AM

Australian shares rose on Wednesday, led by banks, as China reported better-than-expected growth and uncertainty about Greece lessened.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.9 percent, or 48.3 points to 5,625.7 by 0247 GMT. The benchmark index rose 1.9 percent he previous session.

“We are seeing a broad based rally today.  Just a continuation of momentum more than anything else,” Chris Conway, head of research trading, Australian Stock Report.

Banks led the rally after as investors chased quality stocks.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 1.1 percent,  National Australia Bank and Westpac Bank  gained 1.06 percent and 0.9 percent respectively.

Media giant APN News jumped 6.15 percent after Macquarie Wealth Management upgraded its recommendation.

Asian stocks inched cautiously higher, taking their cue from Wall Street and generally getting a boost from China reporting second-quarter annual growth of 7.0 percent.

Energy stocks faired well after oil prices rose despite a nuclear deal being settled with Iran, which will increase global oil supplies.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd was up 2.5 percent and Santos rose 2.4 percent.

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New Zealand’s benchmark NZX50 share index was sitting at a one-week high, gaining 0.5 percent to 5,780.55 as risk sentiment continued to improve.

The gains were led by two major stocks. Telecommunications company Spark rose 1.8 percent to a one-month high, and there was a 1.1 percent gain for Fletcher Building.

Other strong performers included oil refinery operator NZ Refining, for a second successive session, up 3.6 percent still benefiting from a solid trading report, and Orion Health Group, up 2.3 percent after confirming it was meeting trading expectations and benefiting from a lower New Zealand dollar.

Shares of power companies Meridian Energy and Genesis, which have been volatile,  both rose more than 2 percent.

Price falls were generally confined to small-cap stocks, although Sky TV, a top-10 stock, was 1.1 percent lower, and discount retail chain The Warehouse Group was off 0.8 percent.

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