* Australian shares gain across most sectors, gold falls
* Better-than-expected China PMI survey boosts market
(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)
By Thuy Ong and Gyles Beckford
SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, June 23 Australian shares
added 0.7 percent on Monday, underpinned by gains across most
sectors after a rise on Wall Street, while investors cheered a
Chinese manufacturing survey that showed activity expanded in
June for the first time in six months.
Investors took heart from U.S. stocks, which rose on Friday,
driving the Dow and the S&P 500 to close at record highs as the
shares of 330 companies hit 52-week highs on the New York Stock
The 'Big Four' banks all posted gains with blue chips such
as Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking
Corp both added 0.5 percent. Among mid-tier banks, Bank
of Queensland Ltd climbed 1.6 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 38.4 points to 5,457.9
by 0156 GMT. The benchmark fell 0.9 percent on Friday, but rose
0.3 percent for the week, snapping a three-week slide.
Elsewhere, the HSBC/Markit Flash China Manufacturing PMI
rose to 50.8 in June from May's final reading of 49.4, offering
new signs the world's second-largest economy is stabilising.
BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd jumped
1.3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively. World No. 4 iron-ore
miner Fortescue Metals Group Ltd leapt 5.5 percent.
"Fears of iron ore oversupply had coupled with waning
consumer sentiment and cast a dour complexion on the domestic
market in recent times," said Niall King, a sales trader at CMC
Markets in a note to clients. "This morning's rally is all the
The gold sector was the market's only weakness as bullion
dropped as investors took profit, a day after the metal's
biggest rise in nine months. Newcrest Mining Ltd
slipped 0.3 percent, while Regis Resources Ltd declined
0.9 percent. St Barbara Ltd slumped 6.7 percent after
also appointing a new managing director and CEO.
Echo Entertainment Group Ltd jumped 3.6 percent to
1-month highs of A$3.19 after signing an MoU with Chow Tai Fook
Enterprises and Far East Consortium (Australia) to prepare a
detailed proposal for an entertainment precinct and resort
Ten Network Holdings Ltd bounced 6.1 percent after
reports the company has attracted interest from private equity
firms. Shares in Ten recouped after a slump on Friday as the
embattled network warned of a cost rise and revenue fall.
Metcash Ltd added 2.9 percent after the company
said its FY profit was hit by one-off costs, but revenue was up
3.2 percent to A$13.4 billion.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX-50 index was trading
with a soft tone, easing 19.04 points or 0.37 percent to
The biggest losers were gold miner Oceana Gold Ltd
down 9.9 percent at NZ$3.38, mirroring a similar sized fall on
the Australian boards, and accounting software developer Xero
Ltd down 6.9 percent to NZ$26.01, an eight-month low.
The local market has been weighed recently by investors
readying for an influx of new listings, mostly fledgling tech
Two of the new listings will debut this week, with travel
booking firm Serko Ltd set for Tuesday after a NZ$22 million
sale of new and existing shares.
The other is Gentrack Group Ltd, which has raised NZ$99
million, and is due to list on Wednesday.
There were mixed showings for retail stocks following the
profit forecast downgrade by heavyweight Warehouse Ltd
Outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu Ltd was up 2.6
percent at NZ$3.50, but clothing retailer Hallenstein Ltd
was down 3.9 percent at NZ$3.00.
(Editing by Jacqueline Wong)