Australia Stocks Post Solid Gains for Second Day Running

By Robb M. Stewart Features Dow Jones Newswires

MELBOURNE, Australia--Australian shares continued to advance strongly Wednesday, rebounding to a near one-month high as bank stocks again joined broad gains.

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Building on Tuesday's rally coming out of a long weekend, the S&P/ASX 200 climbed 61.1 points, or 1.1%, to 5833.9.

The major banks continued to recover from sharp selling over the past month, in part in the wake of a surprise tax on liabilities introduced by the federal government to help it close a budget deficit. Only the energy and telecommunication sectors held the broader market back, faltering as oil prices continued to fall in Asian trading and after Telstra said it could cut up to 1,400 jobs to help cut costs and cover an anticipated earnings gap with the roll out of Canberra's nationwide broadband network.

Australia & New Zealand Banking led the big banks with a gain of 1.8%. Westpac Banking rose 1.7%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia added 1.4% and National Australia Bank picked up 0.6%. Investment bank and asset manager Macquarie was 1.6% higher.

Diversified miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto were little changed, but iron-ore producer Fortescue Metals Group was up 3%.

Woodside Petroleum gained 0.7% but Oil Search slipped 0.3% and Santos lost 1.5%.

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Telstra weakened by 0.5%.

Write to Robb M. Stewart at robb.stewart@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

June 14, 2017 03:21 ET (07:21 GMT)