Australia shares edge higher on metal price recovery, jobs data

Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:19am EDT

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SYDNEY, March 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares added 0.5 percent on Thursday, underpinned by a recovery in mining stocks after metals prices rose, while a robust jobs report provided additional momentum.

Australian jobs surged by the most in 13 months in February while firms added full-time workers at the fastest pace in three years, a major surprise that suggests the economy is finally generating jobs after a painful fallow period.

The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 28.4 points to 5,412.6. The benchmark fell 0.6 percent on Wednesday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.3 percent to 5,112.0. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Chris Gallagher)