December 24, 2013 / 12:50 AM / in 4 years

Australia shares up for 4th day on Wall St record, trading abbreviated

SYDNEY, Dec 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged up 0.3
percent on Tuesday morning, marking the fourth-straight session
of gains, supported by the banking sector after yet another
record night for Wall Street stocks.
    Activity was subdued as the market will have an  abbreviated
trading session on account of Christmas eve.
    "Momentum indicators are suggesting a move back to the
year's high of 5457 is on the cards and as long as financials
are working, this could still play out in the coming weeks,"
Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, said in a note to
    The financials, which have had a stellar year on record
earnings, led the market higher with the Commonwealth Bank of
Australia rising 0.4 percent and Westpac Banking Corp
 gaining 0.3 percent. 
    "There had been some concerns we might see some selling of
financial stocks after the Fed decision, but that didn't
happen," said Ric Spooner, chief market analyst at CMC Markets.
    "Now it seems to be the case, at least temporarily investors
are coming back into that market."
    The U.S. Federal Reserve last week announced it would start
to  trim its massive stimulus from next month, easing months of
uncertainty over the taper-timeline.
    The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 16.5 points to 5,308.4 by
0022 GMT, its fourth consecutive session of gains. The benchmark
gained 0.5 percent to three-week highs on Monday.
    The market kicked off with a positive lead from Wall Street,
with both the Dow and S&P 500 finishing at all-time highs after
Apple Inc's distribution deal with China Mobile lifted the
technology sector.
    Retail stocks Woolworths Ltd and Wesfarmers Ltd
, the owner of Coles supermarkets, climbed 0.5 percent
and 0.9 percent respectively. 
    Department store chain Myer Holdings Ltd rose 1.9
percent, as Christmas shopping season got into full swing. 
    Mining stocks were under pressure, with BHP Billiton Ltd
 nearly flat 0.2 percent and Rio Tinto Ltd 
losing 0.4 percent.
    Elemental Minerals Ltd dived 26.7 percent, after
touching a 8-1/2 month lower earlier, as the company said it had
agreed to extend the timetable for the offer from its bidder
Dingyi Group, which was seeking a review of Hong Kong Exchange
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index gained nearly
1.0 percent to 4,767.9.

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang,; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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