Australia shares rise on Coalition election victory, solid Chinese data

Sun Sep 8, 2013 10:07pm EDT

(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

SYDNEY, Sept 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.4 percent on Monday after a conservative coalition won a landslide victory in the federal election, while strong data released from Australia's top export market China also boosted investor sentiment.

The local bourse posted a modest gain as the incoming government led by Prime Minister-elect Tony Abbott promised to reboot a stalled mining boom and revive an appetite for investment.

Miners rose, underpinned by a lift in copper prices as investors bet a global recovery would boost demand. Bellwether miners BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd added 0.7 percent and 0.2 percent respectively.

Gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd and Regis Resources Ltd climbed 2.2 percent and 1.2 percent after bullion prices rose 1.5 percent on Friday.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 19 points to 5,164.1 by 0153 GMT, edging towards 3-1/2 month highs hit last week. The benchmark rose 0.2 percent last week, a fourth consecutive week of gains.

"I think the election is a positive for the market, we can get a lot of the uncertainty out, certainly from an Australian point of view," said Martin Angel, a dealer at Pattinson Securities.

"I think it will be pretty good for the resources stocks, in terms of getting rid of the carbon tax and the mining tax," he said, referring to taxes Abbott vowed to revoke as quickly as possible.

The financials posted modest gains with Westpac Banking Corp rising 0.3 percent and National Australia Bank edged 0.5 percent higher. The four major banks have had a stellar year so far as record profits and high dividend yields have driven their share price up an average of 22.4 percent, outperforming the broader market, which is up 10.8 percent.

Elsewhere, handful of defensives were trading lower, capping broader gains with biotechnology firm CSL Ltd dropping 1 percent while food retailer Woolworths Ltd down 2.2 percent as it traded ex-dividend.

Analysts said sentiment was also helped by strong Chinese data. Export data released over the weekend showed improving demand for the country's goods in major foreign markets, while data showing annual consumer inflation at 2.6 percent in August was published on Monday, in line with market expectations.

Elsewhere, MacPhersons Resources rocketed 32.5 percent to A$0.26, a five-month high after the company said its Nimbus gold project in Western Australia could have a fast payback period of two to three years.

Australian salary packaging and car leasing company McMillan Shakespeare Ltd lost 3.7 percent to A$12.90 after soaring 13.2 percent last week as the market priced in a Coalition win, because tax changes for car leases proposed by the outgoing government are unlikely to go ahead.

The local bourse eked out a modest gain but upward momentum was capped as investors remain cautious on a possible military strike by the West against Syria, and U.S. stocks closed little changed in choppy trade on Friday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4 percent to 4,613.7 points.

(Reporting by Thuy Ong and Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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