Australia shares hit 3-mth closing high, buoyed by solid earnings

Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:21am EST

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY Feb 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.5 percent on Monday to a three-month closing high, taking heart from strong earnings reports, a rise in copper prices and another positive performance on Wall Street.

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 26.6 points to 5,382.9, its highest close since Nov. 18. The benchmark gained 3.7 percent last week, snapping five consecutive weeks of losses and marking its biggest weekly rise since December 2011.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.1 percent or 6.6 points to finish the session at 4,894.99. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Chris Gallagher)