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Australia: Shares outperform, NZ index moves off 2-week low

Wednesday, November 26, 2014 - 11:09
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Australian shares, which have underperformed regional markets the past two weeks, rallied nearly 1 per cent on Wednesday with some investors covering short positions.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares, which have underperformed regional markets the past two weeks, rallied nearly 1 per cent on Wednesday with some investors covering short positions.

The technology, industrial and healthcare sectors were each up more than 1 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 47.8 points to 5,382.6 at 0201 GMT, though it was still down 2.6 per cent this month. "The Australian share market had been underperforming in the last couple of weeks and bargain hunters have swooped in this session," said Ben Le Brun, a market analyst at OptionsXpress, adding he saw no particular reason for the recent sell off.

Resolute Mining was the biggest outperformer, soaring 24 per cent to A$0.285 after it deferred expansion work at one of its mines.

Karoon Gas Australia was another stand-out after an upbeat drilling report sent its shares 8.5 per cent higher to A$3.19.

Gains were spread across the board with Macquarie Group up 1.23 per cent and mining giant Rio Tinto 1.7 per cent.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark NZX50 index rose 0.4 per cent to 5,465.44, as the market climbed off a two-week low after three consecutive days of losses.

Fletcher Building and telecommunications company Spark, the biggest stocks by market capitalisation, found support after recent weakness and rose more than 1 per cent.

Auckland International Airport Ltd was up 3.4 percent to NZ$3.97 as it reported higher passenger numbers.

Healthcare software developer Orion Health Group had a strong debut after a NZ$120 million share offer, peaking at NZ$6.79, a 19 percent premium to the issue price, before easing back to NZ$6.58.

Children's clothing retailer Pumpkin Patch slumped 11.9 per cent to a record low of NZ$0.26 after its annual meeting heard of possible store closures and a breach of banking covenants.

AFP

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