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Australia, NZ: Australia shares jump on metals, gold, oil, NZ flat


[MELBOURNE] Australian shares rose 1.2 per cent by midday, bolstered by renewed risk appetite after the US Federal Reserve flagged it would raise rates more slowly than expected, which drove down the US dollar, and stoked metals, gold and oil prices.

The S&P/ASX 200 index had climbed 62 points to 5,181.10 as of 0223 GMT.

Mining and energy stocks mostly led the way higher, with miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both up around 3 per cent, while Fortescue Metals Group surged 7.4 per cent.

The gold miners' index jumped 5 per cent.

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Among oil and gas stocks, battered Santos Ltd was the best performer, up 5 per cent, while Woodside Petroleum rose 1.9 per cent.

Top gainer was Myer Ltd, Australia's biggest department store chain, which jumped as much as 14 per cent to a seven-month high after tweaking up its full year profit forecast.

The Big Four banks all rose more than one per cent.

Irish healthcare software maker Oneview Healthcare Plc debuted on the Australian market at 3 per cent above its offer price of A$3.58 and last traded at A$3.59.

S&P/NZX 50 index was largely unchanged, up two points at 6,564.98, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group offsetting a drop in Steel and Tube.

Steel and Tube fell 3 per cent after news the company had mistakenly put the name of an independent building product testing laboratory, Holmes Solutions, on batch testing certificates for one of its products, despite the fact that Steel and Tube did the tests itself.