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Australian shares buoyed by miners, energy stocks; NZ rebounds
May 8, 2017 / 3:15 AM / 6 months ago

Australian shares buoyed by miners, energy stocks; NZ rebounds

May 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Monday, boosted by a rally in mining and energy stocks after copper recovered from a five-month low and oil gained on expectations an OPEC-led output cut would be extended.

The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 30.644 points, or 0.5 percent, to 5,867.2 by 0257 GMT.

Copper recovered on Friday from a five-month low as mine workers in Peru considered launching a new strike and some investors regarded the lower prices as good value.

Australia’s mining index rose as much as 2.7 percent, driven by gains in BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto , which climbed 1.9 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively.

In other commodities, oil prices rose on Monday on a growing conviction that an OPEC-led production cut initially scheduled to end in June would be extended to cover all of 2017.

WorleyParsons Ltd was the biggest gainer on the energy index, rising 4 percent, while Woodside Petroleum Ltd gained 1.5 percent.

“The risk sentiment this morning is pushed-up a bit higher. Oil prices moved up very sharply and as a result the energy sector in Australia is doing very nicely,” said Chris Weston, an institutional dealer at IG Markets.

Sentiment was also lifted by the comfortable victory of centrist Emmanuel Macron over far-right nationalist Marine Le Pen in the French presidential election.

Macron’s victory brought comfort to investors, who had been nervous of the risk of another populist upheaval to follow Britain’s vote to quit the EU and Donald Trump’s election as U.S. president.

“I don’t think Macron’s win is doing any harm,” Weston added.

Among other stocks, Australia’s No. 2 lender Westpac Banking Corp gained 0.3 percent after it said its first-half cash profit rose 3 percent, lifting the financial index higher.

Fairfax Media rose as much as 7.3 percent to touch a more than five-week high after a consortium led by U.S. private equity firm TPG Capital made a A$2.2 billion ($1.63 billion) proposal to buy the media group’s metropolitan newspapers and Domain real estate classifieds unit.

Bucking the trend, the country’s biggest telco Telstra Corp Ltd shed more than one percent and was among the biggest drags on the index.

Shares of the company surged more than four percent on Friday after Australia’s competition watchdog said it would not regulate the nation’s mobile roaming market.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index climbed 0.5 percent, or 40.42 points, to 7,405.92, and is on track to snap three-straight days of losses.

Healthcare, industrials and telecom stocks accounted for most of the gains on the index.

Air New Zealand and Xero Ltd were the biggest gainers, advancing 2.3 percent and 1.9 percent, respectively.

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$1 = 1.3530 Australian dollars Reporting By Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; additional reporting by Rushil Dutta; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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