UPDATE 1-Infineon raises 2017 outlook on stronger automotive orders
* Shares rise 8.5 pct to 15-year high at top of sector index (Adds detail, background, updates shares)
(Adds details, comments) SYDNEY, Dec 10 Australian shares rose 0.4 percent on Monday to a fresh seven-week high, led by mining and banking stocks as stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs growth and firm economic data from China bolstered the local market. Global miner Rio Tinto Ltd rallied 1.6 percent, while rival BHP Billiton Ltd was up 0.5 percent. Banks were firmer, headed by the Commonwealth Bank of Australia , up 0.6 percent. Some defensives were also tracking gains, with telecommunications giant Telstra adding 0.6 percent and food retailer Wesfarmers 0.7 percent. Both stocks were at a four-year high. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 17 points to 4,568.6 by 0025 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.9 percent on Friday. "We had some really good economic data coming out from China," said Juliana Roadley, market analyst at Commonwealth Securities, "It solidified the call that China is managing itself a lot better than people thought." "Over the last few years you had the Chinese government pulling back on growth and trying to control things so that it didn't over-boil. Now it looks like all that good work has been done." China's factory output and retail sales growth have risen to to eight-months highs. Government figures on Sunday said industrial output rose 10.1 percent in November from a year earlier and industrial exports growth lept to a 10-month peak. U.S. companies kept up their slow but steady hiring pace in November, where the unemployment rate fell to a near four-year low of 7.7 percent, defying predictions that Superstorm Sandy would deal a big blow to the labor market. "This is an encouraging development for the Australian economy," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets. "The improvement in China's economy together with better-than-expected employment growth in the U.S. reinforce the probability that world economies can grow at moderate levels next year." New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index was down 0.3 percent, or 11 points to 4,030.6. STOCKS ON THE MOVE * Shares in radio station owner Southern Cross Austereo fell 4.5 percent amid a backlash and cancelled advertising after the death of a nurse following a prank call to the hospital treating Prince William's pregnant wife. (0025 GMT) (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)
March 24 Halliburton Co, the world's No. 2 oilfield services provider, warned that its first-quarter profit would likely miss analysts' expectations due to higher costs and weak demand in markets outside North America.