(Updates to close)
Dec 28 Australian shares closed at their highest
in nearly 17 months on Wednesday, resuming their post-Trump
rally after losses in the previous session as basic materials
stocks led broad-based gains.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 1 percent, or 57.05
points, higher at 5,685, the highest close since Aug. 4, 2015.
The benchmark had lost 0.3 percent on Friday, the last
trading before a holiday break, but gained 1.7 percent last
The benchmark is on track to rise for a third-straight
quarter in what will be its longest streak of quarterly gains
since March 2014.
Investor sentiment was also supported by a higher Wall
Street on news that American consumer confidence shot to its
highest in more than 15 years in December.
U.S. equities have been riding a post-presidential election
rally, feeding on optimism that Donald Trump's plans for
deregulation and infrastructure spending could bolster the
The Australian mining index on Wednesday closed at
its highest since mid-December, as a rally in base metals prices
Major miners Rio Tinto, Fortescue, and BHP
Billiton added between 2.4 percent to 3.5 percent.
Gold stocks were the top performers among miners, with
Resolute Mining seeing its biggest percentage gain in
four months, as gold prices extended gains on strong technical
Consumer stocks too advanced, with retailers Woolworths
up 1.9 percent and Wesfarmers gaining 1.1
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended flat
as gains in consumer cyclicals and energy stocks were offset by
losses for industrials and staples.
Shares of SKY Network Television were among the
biggest gainers on the benchmark, up 2.7 percent, while a loss
of 2 percent in Auckland Airport stocks weighed down
both the industrial sector and the benchmark.
(Reporting by Rushil Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard