Australia shares climb 1 pct, gains across all sectors

Wed Jun 18, 2014 10:06pm EDT

Related Topics

* Australian market nudges away from 4-week low, rises 1 percent

* All sectors higher as flow-on from Wall Street boosts investor appetite (Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

By Thuy Ong and Naomi Tajitsu

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, June 19 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed 1 percent on Thursday, supported by a positive lead from Wall Street after the Federal Reserve said economic recovery was on track, although turmoil in Iraq kept investors in check.

Iraq has asked the United States for air support in countering Sunni rebels, the top U.S. general said on Wednesday, after the militants seized major cities in a lightning advance that has routed the Shi'ite-led government's army.

Overnight, U.S. stocks rose with the S&P 500 ending at a record after the Federal Reserve hinted at a slightly faster pace of interest-rate increases starting next year but suggested rates in the long run would be lower than it had indicated previously.

The mining and banking sectors underpinned the market which rose in a broad-based gain.

Among financials, Australia's top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia added 0.9 percent, while Westpac Banking Corp, Australia's no.2 biggest bank by market capitalisation, rose 1 percent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index jumped 54.5 points to 5,437.2 by 0155 GMT. The benchmark fell 0.3 percent to hover at 4-week lows on Wednesday.

Blue chips BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd jumped 2.7 percent and 2.3 percent each, while Iluka Resources Ltd added 0.7 percent.

Overnight LME copper traded near its highest in two weeks at $6,735 a tonne, underpinned by a pledge from Chinese authorities to support growth and by a lack of immediate supply.

"The Australian market is at a four-week low so there's a bit of a price recovery," said Matt Sherwood, head of investment management at Perpetual in Sydney.

"I think valuations are stretched so I think it's going to be hard for the market to continue to rally like this."

U.S. stocks rose on Wednesday, with the S&P 500 ending at a record after the Federal Reserve hinted t a slightly faster pace of interest-rate increases starting next year but suggested rates in the long run would be lower than it had indicated previously.

Ten Holdings Ltd dropped 6.2 percent to 3-week lows of A$0.27 after saying it expects its television revenue for FY14 to be approximately 3.5 percent to 4.5 percent lower than the prior year.

JB Hi-Fi Ltd climbed 1 percent after the electronics and entertainment retailer increased its profit guidance with FY 2014 NPAT expected to be in the range of A$126 million to A$129 million, up 8.3 percenjt to 10.8 percent.

Railway operator Asciano Ltd bounced 4.6 percent after saying it will cut 500 jobs by the end of June to reduce costs by approximately A$90 million in the next financial year.

The benchmark NZX-50 index rose 3.8 points to 5,188.30, boosted by a 4.3 percent rise in gold prospector OceanaGold Corp on the back of higher gold prices.

Pumpkin Patch rose 2.3 percent to NZ$0.44, as investors picked up shares in the children's clothing company following its slide to an all-time low of $0.42 earlier in the week.

Corporate software developer Diligent Board Member Services rose 2 percent to NZ$4.60. Shares have jumped roughly 10 percent this week on optimism that the company will announce strong first-quarter earnings on Friday.

Deep sea mining company Chatham Rock Phospate Ltd fell 20 pct to NZ$0.20 on slight volume after New Zealand's Environmental Protection Authority rejected a bid by another mining company to mine the seabed for iron ore sands.

(Editing by Eric Meijer)

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