SYDNEY--Australia's stock market rose Thursday as other Asian
bourses also recovered ground, buoyed by a bounce in crude-oil
The resources-heavy S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.5% higher at
5381.5, pulling higher after ending the previous two sessions in
the red. The market was bolstered by a rally in Japan's Nikkei
Stock Average, which closed 1.7% higher, and rallies on Wall Street
and in Europe Wednesday. Stocks in Hong Kong and South Korea also
Oil extended its overnight gains in Asian trade Thursday, after
snapping a four-session losing streak. "It has been a while since
we have seen prices ending in green," said Phillip Futures analyst
The country's biggest listed miners, BHP Billiton Ltd. (BHP.AU)
and Rio Tinto Ltd. (RIO.AU), were able to recoup some of their
recent losses to close up 1.0% and 2.4% respectively.
U.S. investment bank Jefferies encouraged clients to buy shares
in Rio Tinto, citing expectations of a dividend increase and stock
buyback at its full-year results in February.
Still, its analysts were cautious more broadly on mining sector
stocks. "We continue to counsel investors to be selective within
the sector," they said in a note.
A slip in iron-ore prices weighed on some producers, with
investors wary over the outlook for the steelmaking commodity as
supplies from new and expanded mines continue to increase. Iron ore
fell 0.3% Wednesday to US$70.90/ton, according to data provider The
Mount Gibson Iron Ltd. (MGX.AU) closed 5.5% lower, while
Gindalbie Metals Ltd. (GBG.AU) finished the session down 4.4%.
An unexpected lift in the number of Australian home-building
permits issued in November helped keep the Australian dollar in
positive territory. At 0646 GMT, it traded up 0.3% at US$0.8105.
Approvals to build or renovate both houses and apartments increased
by 7.5% on the month prior, according to the Australian Bureau of
Statistics. Economists were expecting a 3.0% fall in November from
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