Australia shares underpinned by miners, NAB, Telstra

Wed Feb 6, 2013 6:28pm EST

MELBOURNE, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares firmed 0.1
percent on Thursday, bolstered by the top miners after iron ore
prices rose and by National Australia Bank and Telstra Corp, two
of the market's biggest stocks, after they reported increases in
earnings.
    The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 5 points at
4,926.50 as of 2320 GMT. It rose 0.8 percent on Wednesday.
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 1.3 points
to 4,213.23.
    Top lender National Australia Bank rose 1.2 percent
to A$28.45 after it reported a 4 percent rise in first-quarter
cash earnings, boosted by rising revenues and a fall in bad
debts. 
    Top phone company Telstra Corp rose 0.3 percent
after it posted an 8.8 percent rise in first-half net profit,
bolstered by growth in its mobiles business. 
    Whitehaven Coal Ltd fell 5.6 percent after the 
timeframe for government consideration of its Maules Creek
project was extended by three months.
    News Corp fell 3.9 percent after reporting December
quarter results. 
    BHP Billiton rose 0.2 percent and Rio Tinto
 gained 0.5 percent in early trade.

 (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Chris Gallagher)