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Australian shares rise in slim trade; NZ up

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose on Monday, tracking strength on Wall Street after moderate employment data in the United States dispelled some concerns over a recession in the world's largest economy.

Trading volumes were subdued owing to public holidays across a number of Australian states, including New South Wales and Queensland.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.4 per cent or 27.8 points to 6,544.90 by 0039 GMT, while trading volumes were at a tenth of their 30-day average.

Local stocks were also recovering from their worst week in 11 months, as signs of weak business activity from around the globe saw investors pulling out of risky assets in the face of a widespread economic slowdown.

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Market voices on:

" The US economy, having had some pretty poor data points earlier in the week, seemed to be fairly robust- the equity markets liked it, and I think we're following suit a little bit this morning," said Damian Rooney, a director of equity sales at Argonaut.

"I think generally its more of a mark-up than real conviction," he added, noting that there were still a number of "speedbumps" in store for markets from uncertainty over slowing economic growth and political ructions in the US and Europe.

Mining stocks were among the main drivers for the ASX 200, with heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto adding 0.3 per cent and 0.7 per cent, respectively. A weaker Australian dollar also lent some support to the resource exporters.

Conglomerate Washington H Soul Pattinson was the best intraday performer on the ASX 200.

Financial stocks tracked their Wall Street peers higher, with the country's big four banks adding between 0.5 per cent and 0.9 per cent.

Technology stocks, which are the best performing sector on the ASX 200 this year, rose about 1.3 per cent, led by a 3 per cent rise in e-payment services provider Afterpay Touch Group.

New Zealand stocks rose amid broad-based gains, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rising 0.6 per cent or 64.6 points to 10,955.46.

The New Zealand shares of Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group rose 1.4 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively.

Shares of Fonterra, the world's largest dairy producer, were the top gainers on the NZ50 with a near 6 per cent rise.

REUTERS