Australian shares rise 0.7%

Oct 17 2012, 13:10 IST
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SummaryThe benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 31.5 points to 4,523.0.

Australian shares rose 0.7 per cent to hit a 15-month high on Tuesday, as miners benefitted from a rebound in metals prices and global miner BHP Billiton Ltd held its forecast for a rise in iron ore output this year.

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 7 per cent, and if you look at what bonds or deposits are offering, they aren't attractive to many people, said David Price, head of institutional equities at Forsyth Barr.

Stocks on the move

*Rio Tinto Ltd gained 1.8 per cent, and the world's No. 4 iron ore minder Fortescue Metals Group Ltd jumped 3.8 per cent.

(0152 GMT)

*Shares in media company Ten Network Holdings Ltd plunged almost 7.5 per cent to A$0.31, touching a record low during the session, after it said a deal to sell its outdoor advertising business had collapsed.

(0152 GMT)

*Developer Stockland Corp Ltd fell 3.7 per cent after it said residential business had continued to come under pressure in the first quarter of the FY 2013 financial year.

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