(Updates to open)
SYDNEY, April 24 Australian shares rose 0.6
percent in early morning trade on Wednesday as major bank stocks
pushed higher after a broad rally on Wall Street overnight,
while miners also gained despite weaker metals prices.
Financials were led by Westpac Banking Corp, which
rallied 1.3 percent and top lender the Commonwealth Bank of
Australia up 1 percent. Global miners BHP Billiton
and Rio Tinto rose, partly recovering from
losses a day earlier.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 32.7 points
to 5,048.9 by 0011 GMT. The benchmark rose 1 percent on Monday.
Australia's CPI data is due out at 0130 GMT. Consumer prices
are expected to remain benign with underlying CPI well within
the RBA's 2-3 pct target band.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.2
percent to 4,523.8.
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)