MELBOURNE, Jan 23 Australian shares rose 0.4
percent on Wednesday as top miner BHP Billiton gained
after lifting iron ore production, and banks and insurers
advanced following Japan's stimulus measures and a rise on Wall
Street to fresh five-year highs.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was up 20 points at
4,798.8 by 2317 GMT. It finished flat on Tuesday.
New Zealand's NZX 50 index rose 0.3 percent to
On Wall Street, bank and commodity shares led the Standard &
Poor's 500 to a fresh five-year closing high. Copper rose to its
highest level in more than a week.
Top miner BHP rose 1.2 percent after it reported a 3 percent
rise in iron ore production in the December quarter.
(Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Stephen Coates)