May 10 Australian shares turned higher on
Wednesday, paring earlier losses after rising oil prices lifted
mining giant BHP Billiton, while an uptick in metals and gold
underpinned stocks in those sectors.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 28.697 points, or 0.5
percent to 5,868.6 by 0320 GMT.
Gains on the index were driven by BHP Billiton,
which advanced 1.8 percent after oil futures rose in Asian
trading following a Reuters report on Saudi Arabia cutting
supplies to the region.
State-owned Saudi Aramco will reduce oil supplies to Asian
customers by about 7 million barrels in June, a source told
Reuters, as part of OPEC's agreement to reduce production and as
it trims exports to meet rising domestic demand for power during
BHP Billiton's shares appear sensitive to oil prices, with
forty percent of its share price variability linked to its
petroleum business, said Chris Weston, an institutional dealer
at IG Markets.
Among other miners, Fortescue Metals Group climbed
more than 2 percent after Shanghai steel futures rose for a
third straight day on Wednesday, supported by worries over
Separately, the miner said it had raised $1.5 billion in a
high-yield bond offering, $500 million more than originally
sought, due to strong investor demand.
In the gold space, Newcrest Mining and Northern
Star Resources rose 1.4 percent and 3.4 percent
respectively after prices for the yellow metal edged up from an
The financial index tried to recover from losses
earlier in the session, tacking on 0.2 percent as investors
pondered new taxes slapped on big banks by the government in its
budget proposals unveiled late on Tuesday.
"I think there is a little bit of technical buying in
there...People have moved past yesterday's lows and are
increasing their exposure towards the banking sector," Weston
On the downside, CSR Ltd tumbled as much as 13
percent, posting its biggest intra-day percentage fall in nearly
eight years after the company failed to meet investors' high
expectations on full-year earnings.
"(CSR's) results came in line with company guidance, may be
a little bit above the mid-point, but it was priced for
something better, to come right at the top end of the company's
guidance," said Ben Le Brun, market analyst at Optionsxpress.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index inched up
0.03 percent, or 2.46 points, to 7,418.58.
Consumer staples sector led the gains after data showed that
New Zealand's electronic retail card spending rose 1.1 percent
in April, while actual sales rose 4.5 percent from the same
month a year ago.
Heartland Bank Ltd was the biggest gainer on the
index, advancing as much as 2.9 percent to hit a record high.
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(Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Additional
reporting by Susan Mathew; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)