Australian shares gain 0.9 pct, investors await Chinese PMI

Mon Apr 22, 2013 8:31pm EDT

(Updates to open)

SYDNEY, April 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.9 percent on Tuesday after Wall Street climbed overnight, but gains were kept in check as miners lost ground on weak metals prices and as investors await crucial manufacturing data from China for further indication of the growth outlook.

The HSBC China flash Purchasing Managers' Index (PMI) for April is due out at 0145 GMT on Tuesday.

Financials led the index higher, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp rallying 1.2 percent while Westpac Banking Corp added 1 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 42.3 points to 5,008.8 by 0014 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.7 percent on Monday.

Traders were closely watching the China manufacturing data after the recovery in world's second-largest economy unexpectedly stumbled in the first quarter. China is Australia's biggest export market.

The benchmark index suffered its biggest weekly loss in almost a month last week on concerns that subdued global growth, particularly in China, may depress demand for Australia's raw materials.

On Tuesday, miners underperformed with BHP Billiton Ltd down 0.5 percent while Iluka Resources Ltd lost 1.8 percent. Rio Tinto Ltd was trading flat.

Copper fell almost 1 percent on Monday, to trade close to 1-1/2 year lows at $6,935 a tonne amid disappointing global growth and higher supply prospects.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.5 percent to 4,507.2. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)