Australia shares rise to 21-month high, U-turn on China PMI

Thu Jan 24, 2013 12:29am EST

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MELBOURNE, Jan 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.5
percent on Thursday, a fresh 21-month high after reversing
morning losses as a measure of growth in China's factory sector
accelerated to a two-year high in January, boosting local
    The positive read from China, Australia's top export market,
helped BHP Billiton recover earlier losses and end 0.3
percent higher.
    Top banks led gains, with Westpac Banking Corp up
1.3 percent at A$27.10.
    The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 22.4 points to
4,810.20, according to the latest data. It rose 0.2 percent on
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index inched up 0.1
percent to 4,189.9.

 (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)