Australia shares rally, sentiment bolstered by U.S. jobs data

Sun Jan 6, 2013 6:25pm EST

(Updates to opening levels)
    SYDNEY, Jan 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares rallied 0.5
percent on Monday, led by banking stocks, as investor sentiment
was buoyed by U.S. data showing a steady pace of jobs growth and
brisk expansion in the services sector.
    Banks all rose, headed by a 0.7 percent gain for the
Commonwealth Bank of Australia.
    The S&P/ASX 200 index was 24.7 points higher at
4,748.5 by 2313 GMT. It fell 16.9 points on Friday after
reaching 19-month highs earlier in the week.
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index inched up 0.3
percent or 11.4 points to 4,086.5.

 (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)
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