October 17, 2018 / 1:39 AM / a month ago

Aussie shares rally the most in 3 months on Wall St cheer; NZ rises

* ASX, NZX notch up over 1 pct

* Local tech stocks cheer Netflix’s record qtr

* A2 Milk sees best day in 7-mths

By Devika Syamnath

Oct 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose the most in over three months, spurred by a Wall Street rally thanks to upbeat U.S. corporate earnings led by Netflix Inc in after-hours trade and robust economic data.

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 1 percent, or 60.4 points, to 5930.3 at 1259 GMT, having advanced 0.6 percent on Tuesday.

Global equities, which were routed last week on rising U.S. borrowing costs and international trade tensions, bounced overnight on hopes of upbeat earnings on Wall Street and European markets.

Also underpinning an improving mood, U.S. industrial production increased for a fourth straight month in September, boosted by gains in manufacturing and mining output, data on Tuesday showed.

“There was a big turnaround in global sentiment based on economic data and strong corporate reporting,” said Michael McCarthy, chief strategist at CMC Markets and Stockbroking.

“Top performing stocks today are IT stocks and they appear to be looking directly at the bounce back in Nasdaq and better-than-expected result from Netflix,” said McCarthy.

Australian tech stocks advanced as much as 3.6 percent for their best day in 8 weeks, inspired by Netflix adding a record 7 million new streaming subscribers from July to September, a third more than Wall Street had expected.

Shares of data processing company Computershare Ltd and accounting software firm Xero Ltd rose up to 1.7 percent and 4.6 percent, respectively.

The broader market gains were largely led by financial stocks, with the “Big Four” banks adding between 1.4 percent and 2.2 percent.

Healthcare stocks also contributed to the cheer, with the sector advancing as much as 2.7 percent for its best intraday climb in over a month.

“(Healthcare stocks) have higher multiples, they tend to trade at higher valuations and lot of them have significant international exposure - those were the two themes that were hit hard last week,” said McCarthy.

“That’s put a number of them into a position where clearly some investors are seeing value.”

Heavyweights CSL Ltd and Cochlear Ltd added as much as much 3.9 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

“The benign metals markets and the worse-than-expected report from BHP appears to be dragging back that sector,” said the analyst.

The mining index lost 0.9 percent, with global miners BHP and Rio Tinto down 1.4 percent and 0.4 percent, each.

BHP’s first-quarter iron ore production rose 8 percent on strong Chinese demand for high-grade ore, but it cut fiscal 2019 guidance for copper production.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index jumped 1.2 percent or 101.39 points higher to 8,904.57 at 1253 GMT.

Shares of a2 Milk Company Ltd surged as much as 10.3 pct, its highest since Oct. 8, after the dairy products maker said its first-quarter revenue was in line with expectations.

Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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