SYDNEY, Feb 18 Australian shares edged up 0.4
percent early on Monday morning, with mining majors gaining on
hopes that top customer China will start buying after the Lunar
New Year holidays.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Telstra Corp Ltd
dropped after going ex-dividend.
Global miner BHP Billiton Climbed 0.8 percent, and
major rival Rio Tinto Ltd gained 0.9 percent.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia retreated 1.5
percent, while telecommunication giant Telstra Corp Ltd
dropped 3.2 percent. Both companies went ex-dividend on Monday.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 20.5 points
to 5,054.4 by 2319 GMT. The benchmark edged down 3 points to
5,033.9 on Friday, but rose 1.3 percent for the week, continuing
the market's bull run for the fifth consecutive week.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4
percent to 4,212.8.
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Eric Meijer)