September 13, 2017 / 3:04 AM / 2 months ago

Australia shares rise on lead from Wall Street; NZ up

Sept 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Wednesday, tracking a record close on Wall Street as investors were drawn to riskier assets after concerns over the impact of Hurricane Irma and North Korea tensions eased.

“In the U.S. we had a bit of unwinding of the fear trade that it’s been going through and that’s flowing through to us as well,” said Mathan Somasundaram, a market portfolio strategist with Blue Ocean Equities.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.4 percent, or 21.3 points to 5767.7 by 0234 GMT, adding to a 0.6 percent gain in the previous session.

Financial stocks led the gainers with Commonwealth Bank of Australia up as much as 1.4 percent after Australia’s prudential regulator said that money-laundering accusations levelled at the bank had not affected its depositors.

The other ‘big four’ banks gained around 0.9 percent each following a strong lead from Wall Street’s financial index that climbed 1.2 percent.

Miners BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto gained as much as 1.8 percent and 1.7 percent respectively as steel and iron ore futures in China advanced, regaining some lost ground after a five-day retreat.

Rio Tinto hit A$70 a share, the highest in three-and-a-half years.

Data released earlier in the day showed that consumer sentiment bounced modestly in September as worries over family finances warred with growing optimism about the economic outlook.

The survey showed that consumer sentiment rose 2.5 percent in September, from August when it dropped 1.2 percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed, adding 0.02 percent, or 1.55 points, to 7841.96 as investors await Thursday’s manufacturing PMI data.

Spark New Zealand Ltd gained as much as 1.2 percent while Ryman Healthcare Ltd rose as much as 0.9 percent.

Among the losers Mercury NZ Ltd slid as much as 3.2 percent to a one month low, while Air New Zealand Ltd also lost as much as 3.2 percent its lowest in three weeks.

Reporting by Nicole Pinto additional reporting by Chandini Monnappa in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Pullin

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