Australia shares up as banks, Telstra, miners rise
MELBOURNE, Feb 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.3 percent on Thursday, bolstered by index heavyweights National Australia Bank and Telstra Corp, which reported higher earnings. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 14.75 points to 4,935.7, according to the latest data. It rose 0.8 percent on Wednesday. New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.4 percent to 4,195.24 after data showed New Zealand's employment fell by 23,000 jobs, or 1.0 percent, in the three months to Dec. 31.. Top lender National Australia Bank rose 1.9 percent after it reported a 4 percent rise in first-quarter cash earnings, boosted by rising revenues and a fall in bad debts. . Telstra Corp, Australia's largest phone company, gained 1.3 percent after posting an 8.8 percent rise in first-half net profit as it attracted new customers to its mobile business. (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Eric Meijer)
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