Australia shares rally on Fed surprise, NZ at all-time highs
(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)
SYDNEY, Sept 19 (Reuters) - Australian shares surged 1 percent to 5-year highs on Wednesday morning, joining a global rally in stocks, commodities and risk-sensitive currencies after the U.S. Federal Reserve wrong footed markets by deciding against trimming its stimulus programme.
Financial and mining sectors led the broad-based rally as investors, buoyed by the prospect of super easy money staying for a longer period, piled into riskier assets.
"This part of the cycle is where scepticim starts to dissipate and euphoria ensues," said Tim Radford, global analyst at Rivkin Securities in a note to clients.
"With U.S. stocks unexpectedly breaking to new all-time highs overnight, left over cash sitting on the sidelines will now likely be forced to chase gains in equities"
The Fed defied investor expectations overnight by postponing the start of the wind-down of its massive monetary stimulus, saying it wanted to wait for more evidence of solid economic growth.
After months of speculation about the Fed's intentions and concerns of the impact on asset markets from a stimulus cut, the non-tapering news sent shares and currencies across Asia rallying.
Iron ore miners BHP Billiton Ltd gained 1.8 percent while Rio Tinto Ltd jumped 3.1 percent. Gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd and Medusa Mining Ltd rallied 7.4 percent and 12 percent respectively as metals prices soared overnight.
In the banking sector, Westpac Banking Corp and National Australia Bank both climbed 1.4 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 54.4 points to 5,292.5 by 0107 GMT, its highest point since June 30, 2008. The benchmark fell 0.3 percent on Wednesday.
Bucking the market, stocks with large exposure to the U.S. market fell. Packaging company Amcor Ltd was down 2 percent while QBE Insurance lost 2.6 percent.
"Really what we're seeing today in the stocks that are negative is basically we're seeing an unwinding of their positions because of the stronger Australian dollar," said Chris Weston, IG's institutional dealer.
Repatriated funds from foreign investment, including the U.S. market, would take a hit and affect bottom lines as the Australian dollar rallied to multi-month peaks.
Billabong International Ltd was soared 7.8 percent to A$0.49, as the battered surfwear company entered into recapitalisation agreements with Centerbridge and Oaktree Capital.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index climbed 1 percent to trade at all-time highs of 4,750.0.
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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