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Australia: Shares rebound as banks rally


[SYDNEY] Australian shares recovered on Monday, with financials accounting for more than half of the gains, as positive sentiment spilled over from Wall Street where investors had bet on slower US rate hikes.

Weaker-than-expected July consumer price data led investors to bet that soft inflation would keep the US Federal Reserve from raising rates again this year.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7 per cent, or 37.26 points to 5,730.4 at the close of trade.

The gains were broad-based with all sectors in the black.

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Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was among the top percentage gainers on the benchmark after it posted a 4 per cent increase in its cash earnings for the 12-months ended June 30.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 1 percent after the country's No. 2 lender said CEO Ian Narev will retire by next June after sustained publicity about a money-laundering lawsuit led to calls for him to resign.

At the other end, Ansell Ltd fell more than 3 per cent after the rubber products maker posted a bigger-than-expected profit drop caused by skyrocketing rubber prices and one-off transaction costs.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index climbed 0.6 percent, or 42.83 points to finish the session at 7,761.94.

Sentiment was boosted by New Zealand's buoyant retail sales. Data showed retail sales volumes jumped 2 per cent in the second quarter, beating expectations and buoyed by high-profile international sporting events that are attracting tourists to the country.

Contact Energy and Genesis Energy were among the top gainers, rising 3 per cent and 2.9 per cent, respectively.