Jan 11 Australian shares rose on Wednesday
morning after a rally in commodities drove strong gains in
metals and mining stocks, helping lift their index to a
The S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.5 percent or 26.57
points to 5786 by 0106 GMT. The benchmark ended 0.8 percent
lower on Tuesday.
Shanghai steel futures jumped 7 percent to their highest in
nearly three weeks on Tuesday, supported by promises from
China's top steelmaking province to further reduce production
Among other metals, copper hit a one-month high following
further signs of a pick-up in China's economy, while zinc scaled
a three-week peak on persistent supply shortages.
All of this underpinned the resource-heavy Australian
"The reason why the commodities or the materials sector is
doing well today is because metal prices were up overnight,
almost entirely across the board," says Christopher Conway, Head
of Research and Trading at Australian Stock Report.
The metals and mining index was up as much as 3.33
percent, touching its highest since September 2014.
Fortescue Metals Group jumped 3.4 percent, while
global miners Rio Tinto surged 4 percent for its
biggest intraday gain in two months and BHP Billiton
rose 3.2 percent.
BHP Billiton said its chairman and chief executive held
positive talks with U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on
Tuesday. BHP's U.S. investments include billions of dollars in
onshore shale oil and gas production and deepwater oil stakes in
the Gulf of Mexico.
Whitehaven Coal extended gains to climb 2.9
percent. Coal exports from Australia's Queensland state, one of
the world's biggest suppliers to China, hit record levels for
the third year in a row in 2016, data released on Tuesday
Gold hit a six-week high on Tuesday, supported by earlier
weakness in the dollar. That lifted Newcrest Mining
1.2 percent and Resolute Mining 3.6 percent.
Financials bucked the broad trend, but Australia and New
Zealand Banking Group was one of the few banks in the
black, gaining 0.2 percent after it agreed to sell New Zealand
subsidiary UDC Finance to China's HNA Group for about NZ$660
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose as
much as 0.3 percent to its highest level in over 12 weeks.
Utilities and industrials gained the most with Contact
Energy rising 1 percent and A2 Milk Company
gaining 1.4 percent.
For more individual stocks activity click on
(Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran in Bengaluru; Additional
reporting by Hanna Paul; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)