Australia shares rally on banks as global markets rebound

Wed Feb 6, 2013 12:41am EST

(Adds details, comments)
    SYDNEY, Feb 6 (Reuters) - Australian shares rallied 0.8
percent on Wednesday after Wall Street rebounded on solid U.S.
earnings and data showed the global economy continuing to
improve. 
    Financials led the gains with Westpac banking Corp 
jumping 0.8 percent.
    "This week has shown us that while there will inevitably be
bumps in the road the natural tendency of the market is to push
higher in this climate, and investors are positioning themselves
for further upside moves while global economic data provides
cause for optimism," said Tim Waterer, senior trader at CMC
Markets.
    The S&P/ASX 200 index finished the day 38.3 points
higher to 4,921. The benchmark index fell 0.5 percent on
Tuesday.
    Global iron ore miners were stronger, with BHP Billition Ltd
 and rival Rio Tinto Ltd posting gains of 0.9
percent and 1.1 percent respectively.
    Gold miners Silver Lake Resources plumbed 2.5
percent and Lynas Corp tumbled 3.2 percent.
    Food retailers rallied, Woolworths Ltd surged 2.7
percent while Wesfarmers Ltd jumped 1 percent.
    Defensives were mostly firmer as blood products maker CSL
Ltd surged 2.1 percent and utility Origin Energy
 edged up 0.3 percent. But Australia's no.1
telecommunications provider Telstra Ltd bucked the
trend, losing 0.9 percent.
    "[A poor result in] Australian unemployment data out
tomorrow will increase the likelihood of a March rate cut as the
RBA holds its dovish view of the Australian economy," said
Lucas.
    Official data showed Australian retail turnover for December
and the fourth quarter fell 0.2 percent. The
weaker-than-expected retail sales data added to the case for
further lowering of interest rates this year. 
 
    U.S. stocks climbed on Tuesday, recovering a day after the
market's biggest sell-off since November, as
stronger-than-expected earnings brightened the profit picture.
 
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index is closed for
the Waitangi Day public holiday.

 (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)