Australia shares up 0.5 pct; miners bounce on China PMI
MELBOURNE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.5 percent in afternoon trade on Thursday, reversing earlier losses, as a measure of growth in China's factory sector accelerated to a two-year high in January, boosting local miners. The HSBC flash purchasing managers' index (PMI) rose to 51.9 in January, the highest since January 2011.. The positive read from China, Australia's top export market, helped BHP Billiton recover earlier losses. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 24.7 points at 4,812.5 by 0248 GMT. It rose 0.2 percent to 4,787.8 on Wednesday, the highest close in almost 21 months. "Resistance levels are going to kick in. We expected a positive day, however watch for profit-taking as we enter 4,800 to 4,810," said Evan Lucas, strategist at IG Markets. Top banks were all higher, led by a 1.5 percent rise in National Australia Bank. The country's leading telecommunications company Telstra Corp gained 1.1 percent. New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index inched up 0.1 percent to 4,193.0. STOCKS ON THE MOVE: * BHP Billiton rose 0.3 percent to A$37.16, recouping earlier losses on the China manufacturing data. BHP had fallen in early trade. Citi lowered its recommendation on the stock to "neutral". (0243 GMT) * Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, Australia's third-biggest iron ore miner, rose 0.3 percent to A$4.68, after it said it lifted shipments by 32 percent in the December quarter from a year ago. (0243 GMT) * Shares in Australia's Linc Energy surged 27.3 percent to A$2.75, a day after it said two independent reports had confirmed it is sitting on potentially large resources of shale oil in South Australia. (0243 GMT) * OZ Minerals Ltd slid 6.6 percent to A$6.83 after the company posted a drop in its December quarter production. [ID:nWNAS000WV) (0242 GMT) (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell and Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman)
- Seven NATO allies to create new rapid reaction force-report
- Ukraine seeks to join NATO; defiant Putin compares Kiev to Nazis |
- U.S. authorities investigate suspected threat against Obama: reports
- California passes plastic bag ban, would be first such law in U.S.
- Putin says Russia must strengthen its economic, military position in Arctic