Australia Stocks Rise, With Banks, Gold Miners, Energy All Up

MarketWatch Pulse

Gains for financials, energy and gold miners helped buoy Australian stocks early Monday, overcoming the drag from the senior miners and iron-ore plays, The S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4% about an hour into trade, though with Chinese import and export data due out later in the day holding the potential to move the market significantly. Shares of Australia & New Zealand Banking Group , National Australia Bank Ltd. and Commonwealth Bank of Australia all rose 0.4% apiece, while Macquarie Group Ltd. rallied 1.1%. Moves on the commodity markets helped lift gold miners (Newcrest Mining Ltd. up 3.3%, Evolution Mining Ltd. up 2.8%) and oil stocks (Santos Ltd. up 2.5%, Woodside Petroleum Ltd. up 1%, and Oil Search Ltd. up 2.3% after a UBS upgrade to buy from neutral). Yet further losses for iron ore dragged Arrium Ltd. down 3.3%, while Atlas Iron Ltd. remained untraded after announcing late Friday it would shutter its operations due to the weak prices. BHP Billiton Ltd. fell 0.9%, and Rio Tinto Ltd. lost 0.8%, after the two said Friday they were the subject of an Australian tax-avoidance probe. And in the media space, Seven Group Holdings Ltd. retreated 1.4% after news the company's chief executive was retiring at the end of August.

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