Australia shares up 0.3 pct to near 6-yr high on Wall St rise, robust jobs data

Thu Apr 10, 2014 2:19am EDT

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY, April 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.3 percent to a near six-year high on Thursday as a rally on Wall Street and an upbeat local jobs report buoyed investor optimism.

Australian employment rose by a solid 18,100 in March to handily beat expectations for a second month, while the jobless rate took a surprise dive to 5.8 percent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 17.0 points to finish at 5,480.8, after touching an intraday high of 5,503.5, its highest point since June 2008.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.9 percent to 5,115.5. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Chris Gallagher)