Australia shares open firmer on U.S. data, China GDP eyed

Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:23pm EST

(Updates to open)

Jan 18 (Reuters) - Australian shares opened 0.5 percent higher on Friday, taking a lead from Wall Street after U.S. housing and jobs data lifted the S&P 500 to a five-year high, as investors await China GDP figures.

Rio Tinto Ltd jumped 1.5 percent after its chief executive Tom Albanese was sacked following billions of dollars of write-offs on aluminium and coal assets, while top miner BHP Billiton Ltd added 0.4 percent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 22.0 points to 4,778.6 by 2315 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.4 percent to a 20-month high of 4,756.6 on Thursday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2 percent to 4205.7 in early trade. (Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.