Australia Stocks Advance, With Qantas, News Corp. Rising

MarketWatch Pulse

Australian stocks scooped up some modest gains in early Tuesday trading, with the S&P/ASX 200 up 0.4% after a 0.2% loss in the previous session. The advance was supported by a rebound in banks, which had been a sore spot in Monday's trade. Australia & New Zealand Banking Group rose 1.3%, while Westpac Banking Corp. and Macquarie Group Ltd. added 1.5% each. However, National Australia Bank Ltd. was up just 0.2% after swinging in and out of losses as it said it had completed the institutional portion of its capital raising. Resource shares were also strong Tuesday (BHP Billiton Ltd. up 1.8%, Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. up 1.4%, Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. up 2%). But some of the biggest moves for the blue chips were linked to shareholder returns: Qantas Airways Ltd. climbed 6.6% after telling investors it could begin paying out money to its investors later this year, while the beginning of a stock buyback at MarketWatch's corporate parent News Corp. -- the first since the company spun off its entertainment divisions -- helped juice its shares by 3.6%.

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