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Australia: Stocks up 0.57% after Greece approves reforms


[SYDNEY] Australian stocks rose 0.57 per cent at the open Thursday after the Greek parliament backed austerity measures in return for a new bailout deal.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 32.1 points at 5,668.3 soon after the start, following on from strong gains over the previous two sessions.

While Greece has been the recent focus, analysts said the market was increasingly turning to the chances of an US interest rate rise later this year after US Federal Reserve chief Janet Yellen reiterated that a hike remained likely in 2015.

"The fact the grey clouds that are China and Greece have cleared slightly only brings a sharper focus on the biggest macro cloud of 2015 - Fed lift off," said Evan Lucas, a strategist at IG Markets.

While stocks rose, the Australian dollar hit fresh six-years lows, dragged down by a rising greenback which jumped after Ms Yellen's remarks.

In early trade, it was fetching 73.83 US cents US cents from 74.72 US cents late Wednesday, while it was buying 67.38 euro cents, from 67.93 euro cents.