(Updates to open)
Jan 18 Australian shares opened 0.5 percent
higher on Friday, taking a lead from Wall Street after U.S.
housing and jobs data lifted the S&P 500 to a five-year high, as
investors await China GDP figures.
Rio Tinto Ltd jumped 1.5 percent after its chief
executive Tom Albanese was sacked following billions of dollars
of write-offs on aluminium and coal assets, while top miner BHP
Billiton Ltd added 0.4 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 22.0 points to 4,778.6
by 2315 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.4 percent to a 20-month high
of 4,756.6 on Thursday.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.2
percent to 4205.7 in early trade.
(Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang)