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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