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Australia: Shares rise on Wall Street rally, bargain hunting


[SYDNEY] Australian shares climbed 1.2 per cent on Friday on broad-based gains across all sectors, tracking Wall Street and as investors hunted bargain-priced stocks after a heavy sell-off the previous day.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 67.30 points to 5592.200 by 0132 GMT. The benchmark lost 1.26 per cent on Thursday, its biggest daily percentage loss in two weeks.

The market has fallen each month from March, dragged lower by bank and resources stocks. "There's a Friday rally, largely brought on by the fact that we've had significant gains out of the US and I think the market is feeling fairly stable with what the Fed are doing over the next six months or so," said Kara Ordway, an analyst at City Index.

After its two-day meeting, the Fed said on Wednesday the US economy was probably strong enough to support an interest rate increase by the end of the year. Financials led gains with all major banking stocks up. Macquarie rose 2.3 per cent and AMP was up 1.6 per cent.

Mining also had strong gains with FMG.AX up 2.8 per cent. Gold miner Laneway Resources rose as much as 25 per cent, after signing a deal with Agate Creek Gold Project.

For more individual stocks activity click on New Zealand stocks bounced back after two days of hefty losses as investors looked to pick up bargains among stocks that had been battered. The benchmark NZX-50 index, which had hit a three-week low, was up 0.5 per cent to 5,780.41.

National carrier Air New Zealand was up 3.1 per cent as it clawed back about a third of the previous day's losses sparked by news that Qantas-owned rival Jetstar plans to expand services to several regional cities.

Telecommunications network operator Chorus also rebounded, up 2.4 per cent off a near-three month low, as the government said the national ultrafast broadband network the company is building was at its midpoint.

Leading stock Fletcher Building's recovery continued, adding 1.3 per cent after an investor presentation the previous day was well received, while telecommunications company Spark was 1.5 per cent higher.

Energy producer Mighty River Power was prominent among the losers at down 1.3 per cent, while small-cap stocks also figured including winemaker Delegat Group and pharmacy retail chain Green Cross, both down around 1.6 per cent.