Australian shares bounce on miners, energy stocks; NZ falls
* Aussie benchmark tracks Wall Street gains
* Lynas Corp falls on Malaysian regulatory pressure
* NZ drops for fourth straight session
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
April 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares started the week on
firm footing on Monday, tracking Wall Street gains and with
miners and energy stocks leading the rally as
stronger-than-expected U.S. jobs growth eased concerns about the
world's largest economy.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5 percent to 6,211.30
by 0023 GMT. The benchmark had extended losses to a second
consecutive day on Friday, ending 0.8 percent lower, as
investors booked profits after a seven-session bull run.
The positive U.S. nonfarm payrolls data provided some
reassurance two weeks after the yield curve between three-month
treasury bills and 10-year notes briefly inverted, in what is
commonly viewed as a sign of an oncoming recession.
"Aussie stocks have got positive momentum at the moment.
It's not just about the U.S. jobs numbers. The optimism around
U.S.-China trade talks is also an important factor for the good
gains this morning," said Michael McCarthy, chief market
strategist at CMC Markets.
Prominent among the gainers Down Under were mining stocks
with the red-hot iron ore prices continuing to bolster the
sector against the backdrop of global supply concerns for the
steel-making raw material.
The Metals and Mining sub-index rose up to 1 percent
with index heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto
putting on 0.9 percent and 0.7 percent, respectively,
while major iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group
advanced 1.8 percent.
"Many of the underlying commodities are in the uptrend at
the moment and that would see continued support for the
miners... Prices remain elevated and there could be further
gains in the sector," added McCarthy.
Energy stocks were lifted by higher oil prices, which gained
1.5 percent on Friday, on the U.S. employment data and on
expectations that an escalating conflict in Libya could tighten
Oil and gas explorer Beach Energy Ltd tacked on 2.5
percent and oil services firm WorleyParsons Ltd added
2.2 percent to be among the top percentage gainers on the energy
However, the little-changed financials, the largest
sector in the benchmark, capped further overall gains , weighed
down by the Big Four banks.
Rare earths miner Lynas Corp shed 3.3 percent after
the firm said it was considering initial ore processing close to
its Australian mine owing to intense regulatory pressure from
Malaysia where it has a processing plant.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index slipped for a fourth successive session, falling
0.4 percent to 9,817.52.
Energy and transport services firm Infratil Ltd
dropped as much as 3.5 per cent after it revised down its
underlying earnings guidance for the 2019 financial year.
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by
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