Australia shares bounce back ahead of GDP outcome
MELBOURNE Dec 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.3 percent on Wednesday, pulled up by banks and miner Rio Tinto in restrained trade ahead of economic growth data later in the session.
Australia's gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to have increased 0.6 percent in the quarter, and 3.1 pct for the year .
Top banks rose, led by a gain of 0.9 percent in ANZ Banking Group, while Rio gained 1.3 percent.
"Equity valuations remain compelling on most measures," said UBS strategist George Boubouras.
"We continue to recommend a combination of quality defensives with a dividend strategy for conservative portfolios, through to increased exposure towards cyclicals for a more aggressive risk appetite," he said.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index, which fell 0.6 percent on Tuesday, was up 15 points at 4,518.4 by 2359 GMT.
UBS targeted a rise to 4,750 by June.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index was flat at 4,015.8.
STOCKS ON THE MOVE:
* Iron ore miner Sundance Resources plunged as much as 14 percent after it said its takeover by Hanlong Group would be delayed to the end of January because the Chinese company has not yet obtained the necessary funding. The deal had been due to close on Jan. 8.
* Ten Network Holdings Ltd requested a trading halt ahead of an announcement in relation to a proposed capital raising
* Discovery Metals jumped 3.8 percent to A$1.63 as investors bet its Chinese suitor was likely to be successful with its A$1.70 a share, or A$824 million ($864 million), hostile offer, after the copper miner announced it had run into problems at its Boseto mine in Botswana.
National Australia Bank has sold down its stake, which was seen as a sign that other big shareholders would be willing to sell and get Cathay Fortune Corp and its partner to the 51 percent minimum acceptance on their offer.
"I expect that there would be a few others who'd be quite happy to sell at this price, particularly when you factor in what they (Discovery) just said -- that we have to stop mining at the Boseto open cut," said Pieter Bruinstroop, an analyst at broker Octa Phillip.
0002 GMT (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell and Sonali Paul; Editing by Paul Tait)
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