Australian shares extend rally to 4.5-year highs

Thu Feb 14, 2013 12:36am EST

MELBOURNE, Feb 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.7
percent to their highest in four-and-a-half years on Thursday as
miners rallied on expectations new Rio Tinto Chief Executive Sam
Walsh could impress when the company reveals its full-year
earnings later in the day.
    Gains in some banking stocks and others, such as Wesfarmers,
also boosted the market.
    The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index added 33 points to
5,036.9, according to the latest data, its best since September
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4
percent to 4,239.2.
    Rio Tinto was 2.3 percent higher at A$72.07 before the
result, due at 0600 GMT.

 (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)