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Australia shares rebound, led by materials; NZ falls to 2-month low


[BENGALURU] Australian shares rebounded on Wednesday from their biggest one-day drubbing in roughly 2-1/2 years, as global markets tried to regain their footing after several days of heavy selling.

Broad-based buying helped the S&P/ASX 200 index end up 0.8 per cent, or 43.500 points, at 5,876.800, though it had been up as much as 1.8 per cent at one point in early trade.

The benchmark slumped 3.2 per cent on Tuesday.

US stocks rebounded 2 per cent overnight, but are still expected to show increased volatility in coming days.

Materials shares led gains in Australia, underpinned by stronger iron ore and copper prices. The metals and mining index climbed 1.9 per cent, its biggest per centage gain in nearly four weeks.

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Global miners BHP and Rio Tinto Ltd climbed 1.8 per cent and 3.8 per cent, respectively, accounting for most of the gains on the benchmark.

Rio Tinto is scheduled to release its 2017 financial results later in the day. The miner is expected to report a 70 per cent rise in its underlying net profit after tax for the year, UBS said in a research note.

Industrials also gained, with toll road developer Transurban Group adding 1.9 per cent, while airport operator Sydney Airport Holdings rose 1.2 per cent.

Financials closed marginally lower, hurt by a fall in Commonwealth Bank of Australia which reported a decline in first-half cash profit, missing analysts'expectations.

CBA booked an A$575 million (S$596.6 million) charge for regulatory costs including a money-laundering lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Australia gave its financial regulator sweeping powers to cap bank bosses' pays, delay their bonuses and even ban them from the industry if found guilty of non-compliance, as the authorities scramble to restore trust in the scandal-hit sector.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index declined 0.6 per cent or 47.100 points to 8,194.730, its lowest since December 2017.

Industrials and consumer staples accounted for most of the losses, with Auckland International Airport Ltd falling 2.1 per cent and a2 Milk Company Ltd declining 1.9 per cent.


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