Australian shares rise 0.7%
The market had been capped around the 4,500 points mark in recent days but was spurred higher by gains on Wall Street overnight and the easing of concerns over the euro zone, analysts said.
We're in one of those situations where there's a lot of cash packed on the sidelines looking for significant pullbacks to get in, said Ric Spooner, a market strategist at CMC Markets.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 31.5 points to 4,523.0 at 0150 GMT, holding to a near 15-month high since late July 2011.
Big miners led gains as copper rebounded from one-month lows. BHP gained 1.0 percent after it reported steady quarterly iron ore production.
The major banks all traded higher, with National Australian Bank Ltd leading the pack, up 0.9 per cent at A$26.85.
Another consistent feature is the ongoing chase for yield, Spooner said. The tone of the last couple of Reserve Bank statements has changed a bit. Ultimately our rates could move lower, and that is concerning for people who depend on fixed income.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.5 per cent to 3,961.4, and is up by a fifth for the year to date.
Kiwi investors were shifting away from maturing bonds into higher-yielding equities, analysts said.
The New Zealand stock market has a yield of around
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