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Australia: Shares rally the most in 3 months on Wall Street cheer; NZ rises

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose the most in over three months, spurred by a Wall Street rally thanks to upbeat US corporate earnings led by Netflix Inc in after-hours trade and robust economic data.

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 1 per cent, or 60.4 points, to 5930.3 at 1259 GMT, having advanced 0.6 per cent on Tuesday.

Global equities, which were routed last week on rising US borrowing costs and international trade tensions, bounced overnight on hopes of upbeat earnings on Wall Street and European markets.

Also underpinning an improving mood, US industrial production increased for a fourth straight month in September, boosted by gains in manufacturing and mining output, data on Tuesday showed.

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"There was a big turnaround in global sentiment based on economic data and strong corporate reporting," said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets and Stockbroking.

"Top performing stocks today are IT stocks and they appear to be looking directly at the bounce back in Nasdaq and better-than-expected result from Netflix," said Mr McCarthy.

Australian tech stocks advanced as much as 3.6 per cent for their best day in 8 weeks, inspired by Netflix adding a record 7 million new streaming subscribers from July to September, a third more than Wall Street had expected.

Shares of data processing company Computershare Ltd and accounting software firm Xero Ltd rose up to 1.7 per cent and 4.6 per cent, respectively.

The broader market gains were largely led by financial stocks, with the "Big Four" banks adding between 1.4 per cent and 2.2 per cent.

Healthcare stocks also contributed to the cheer, with the sector advancing as much as 2.7 per cent for its best intraday climb in over a month.

"(Healthcare stocks) have higher multiples, they tend to trade at higher valuations and lot of them have significant international exposure - those were the two themes that were hit hard last week," said Mr McCarthy.

"That's put a number of them into a position where clearly some investors are seeing value."

Heavyweights CSL Ltd and Cochlear Ltd added as much as much 3.9 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

"The benign metals markets and the worse-than-expected report from BHP appears to be dragging back that sector," said the analyst.

The mining index lost 0.9 per cent, with global miners BHP and Rio Tinto down 1.4 per cent and 0.4 per cent, each.

BHP's first-quarter iron ore production rose 8 per cent on strong Chinese demand for high-grade ore, but it cut fiscal 2019 guidance for copper production.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index jumped 1.2 per cent or 101.39 points higher to 8,904.57 at 1253 GMT.

Shares of a2 Milk Company Ltd surged as much as 10.3 per cent, its highest since Oct 8, after the dairy products maker said its first-quarter revenue was in line with expectations.

REUTERS