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Australia: Stocks rise 1.04% despite Greece default


[SYDNEY] Australian stocks Wednesday recorded a second-straight day of gains despite Greece defaulting on its IMF debt as banks strengthened and the market was buoyed by a US$6.8 billion bid for a local port operator.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index rose 56.7 points to finish at 5,515.7.

"I think there's a mixture of wait-and-see," Leyland Private Asset Management senior portfolio manager Rohan Schmidt told AFP about Greece's uncertain future ahead of a weekend referendum.

"The American market was fairly benign overnight... and Australia's just entering into its new financial year so a lot of the pressure of the tax loss selling is off our market and there's a little bit of accumulation of high-quality stocks today." Logistics stocks were boosted by a bid from Canada-based Brookfield Infrastructure Group for Australian ports and rail operator Asciano.

In late trade the Australian dollar was buying 77.12 US cents, up from 76.98 US cents early Wednesday. It was fetching 69.25 euro cents from 69.13 euro cents in morning trade.