Australian shares were on track for a second session of gains on Thursday led by banks and miners, as investor appetites improved in the U.S. and China.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 32.6 points, or 0.58 percent to 5,656.9 at 0235 GMT. On Wednesday, the benchmark gained 39.5 points to close at 5,624.2.
“If we can hold on to another 30 odd points, I think that bodes well for a decent second half,” Richard Herring, director at Burrell Stockbroking & Superannuation said.
A rebound on the Chinese stock market gave broader commodities a leg up.
“We’ve seen a little bounce in the iron ore price that is supporting our resource stocks,” he said.
Mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton were both up 2.5 percent while iron ore producer Fortescue Mining rose 1.5 percent.
Neuren Pharmaceuticals Ltd. jumped 23.6 percent on recommendation.
Asian shares were firm after the U.S. Federal Reserve said it saw the economy and job-creation continuing to strengthen.
Financial stocks were mostly up. National Australia Bank , Westpac Bank and Commonwealth Bank of Australia all rose 0.7 percent.
Australian-owned gold miner Oceana Gold was up 3.3 percent before being put on a trading halt pending an announcement about a possible business tie-up.
Australia’s June building approvals fell 8.2 percent.
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New Zealand’s benchmark NZX50 share index was 0.4 percent higher to 5,893.73, on the back of firmer commodities and a stabilising in sentiment, and back in sight of a high set last week.
Among the leaders, casino company Sky City rose 1.1 percent to a two-week high extending the previous session’s gains as it said its Darwin establishment will not be hit heavily by new gaming taxes in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Retailer Briscoe Group was up 0.4 percent after reporting higher first-half sales positioning it for an 8.1 percent profit lift.
Outdoor clothing and equipment company Kathmandu, which Briscoe wants to takeover, jumped 3 percent. The company is due to respond to the offer by the end of next week.
NZ Oil and Gas rose 2 percent as it said it was looking at prospective formations with significant hydrocarbon potential in one of its exploration areas.
Small banking and finance company Heartland was up 4.4 percent as it updated its profit forecasts.