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Australia: Shares rebound as Wall Street rallies on Fed minutes


[SYDNEY] Australian shares climbed 1.3 per cent on Thursday, rebounding from 9-month lows in the previous session as Wall Street soared after the US Federal Reserve indicated it would not raise rates for a "considerable time".

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 66.8 points to 5,308.1 by 0136 GMT. The benchmark fell 0.8 per cent on Wednesday and looks set to snap three sessions of losses.

Financials supported the rally, with Westpac Banking Corp jumping 1.9 per cent to two-week highs of A$32.88 and Commonwealth Bank of Australia bouncing 1.7 per cent.

National Australia Bank reversed early losses to gain 0.8 per cent after saying its cash earnings will likely drop up to 14 per cent for the recently ended financial year due to higher charges from its troubled UK business.

Leanne Jones, an equity analyst at Bell Securities said NAB still has strong capital, while investor sentiment was supported by its A$0.99 dividend.

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Meanwhile, mid-tier Bank of Queensland Ltd shot 2.8 per cent higher after saying its full-year net profit from ordinary activities after tax is up 40 per cent to A$260.5 million.

Elsewhere, Australian employment reportedly fell 29,700 in September, while the jobless rate ticked up to 6.1 per cent.

The market gave a muted response, as there were doubts over the reliability of the data given problems with the seasonal adjustment process.

The benchmark index has been routed in recent sessions and tumbled 5.9 per cent in September, pressured by a slump in iron ore prices, a rise in bond yields, and worries about slowing growth in Australia's largest export market, China. "We've seen volatility continue this week," Mr Jones said.

Iron ore for immediate delivery to China .IO62-CNI=SI rose 1.4 per cent to US$80 a tonne on Tuesday, the highest since Sept 19, while gold rose about 1 per cent.

The materials sector led gains, adding 1.4 per cent, with global miners BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd rising 1.3 per cent and 0.4 per cent. Among gold producers Beadell Resources Ltd soared 9.4 per cent.

Consumer cyclicals also ticked higher with News Corp adding 1.5 per cent, whlie discount retailer the Reject Shop Ltd jumped 1.4 per cent.

Mirvac Group climbed 2.5 per cent to two-week highs of A$1.74 after acquiring Birkenhead Point shopping centre in Sydney in a deal for consideration of A$310 million.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX50 index rose 8.5 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 5,254.48, tracking gains in global share markets.

New Zealand Refining rose 2.4 per cent to NZ$1.70($1.34) after the company on Thursday said it would meet with unions next week to resolve labour issues after staff called off a strike earlier this week.

Xero slipped 0.8 per cent to NZ$21.00, as early gains posted by the accounting software developer fizzled after it confirmed its forecast for subscription revenues to rise around 80 per cent in 2015. - Reuters

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