* ASX 200 higher for second day, gains across all sectors
* 170 shares higher, 23 shares lower, 7 shares unchanged
(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)
By Thuy Ong and Naomi Tajitsu
SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, Aug 12 Australian shares
climbed 0.9 percent on Tuesday to follow Wall Street higher,
with gains across most sectors as investors bought equities as
geopolitical tensions in Ukraine eased and local business
U.S. stocks ended higher on Monday, extending the rally from
Friday as investors hoped that Russia's move to send
humanitarian aid to Ukraine would ease tensions between the two
Among banks, Westpac Banking Corp climbed 1.2
percent, National Australia Bank added 1.1 percent, and
Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 0.9 percent.
Westpac announced its New Zealand chief Peter Clare had
The S&P/ASX 200 index jumped 52.2 points to 5,508.3
by 0203 GMT. The benchmark added 0.4 percent on Monday, snapping
six days of losses.
The benchmark hit a six-year peak of 5,644.2 on July 31, but
has fallen some 150 points with investors worrying that the U.S.
Federal Reserve may raise interest rates sooner than expected,
and on the conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine.
"I think it's more index buying across the market as opposed
to individual sectors", said Ben Clark, a portfolio manager at
TMS Capital in Sydney which owns shares in CSL and listed law
firm Slater & Gordon.
A measure of Australian business conditions hit the highest
in four years in July, as firms reported a sharp pick-up in
sales and profitability, helping to support gains in the market.
In the defensive space, grocer Woolworths Ltd
dipped 0.9 percent after saying its Masters home improvement
business would miss its guidance, posting a bigger loss this
year than last year and not breaking even until after 2016.
Australia's biggest telecommunications provider Telstra
Corporation Ltd added 0.7 percent after paying $270
million to buy out Silicon Valley-based video platform company
Ooyala, raising its 23 percent stake to 98 percent under the
"I think it will be a game changer in Australian media -
Telstra already has the largest customer base," said Peter Esho,
managing partner at 100 Doors.
Among companies reporting earnings, Dominos Pizza
Enterprises Ltd bounced 6.5 percent after its financial
year net profit soared 47.6 percent to A$42.3 million.
Slater & Gordon Ltd climbed 5 percent to two-week
highs of A$5.17 after the law firm said its group revenue
bounced 40.4 percent to A$418.5 million and announced two
acquisitions that would have an annual revenue of A$39 million.
Satellite communications provider Speedcast debuted
at A$1.95 before steadying to its list price of A$1.96.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX50 index slipped 2.7
points to 5,046.97, hovering around a four-month low hit on
Shares were led down by a fall in retirement village
operator Summerset, which stumbled 2.7 percent to a
13-month low of NZ$2.83 after the company posted a smaller rise
in first-half profits compared with last year.
But losses were tempered by a near 9 percent jump in PGG
Wrightson to a two-month high of NZ$0.43 after the
agricultural services company posted a bigger-than-expected rise
in full-year profits.
(Editing by Eric Meijer)