Australia Stocks Rally, With Commodity Shares Surging

Australian stocks rocked some solid gains in early Friday trading, driven in large part by an upward lurch in many of the major resource shares. The S&P/ASX 200 was up 1.1% about an hour into the session, with further recovery in the iron-ore spot price stoking powerful advances for BC Iron Ltd. (up 17.5%), Mt. Gibson Iron Ltd. (up 11.3%), Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. (up 4.3%) and Arrium Ltd. (6.3%). Overnight strength for gold futures likewise juiced the relevent miners, with Newcrest Mining Ltd. up 2.1%, Evolution Mining Ltd. up 4.2%, and Perseus Mining Ltd. surging almost 12%. Energy names also got a boost from the commodity markets (Santos Ltd. up 2.6%, Oil Search Ltd. up 2.5%, WorleyParsons Ltd. up 2.4%), and rounding out the resource-stock action, senior miners BHP Billiton Ltd. and Rio Tinto Ltd. rose 2.5% and 2.3%, respectively. Meanwhile, shares of Telstra Corp. rose 0.5%, underperforming the broader market as the Sydney Morning Herald and affiliated newspapers said the telecom was in talks with Netflix Inc. about marketing the latter's video-streaming service in Australia.

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