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Australian stocks climb 0.5% in early move; S&P 200 jumps 28.4pts

Australian stocks climb 0.5% in early move; S&P 200 jumps 28.4pts

SYDNEY:  Australian stocks rose 0.5 percent on Wednesday underpinned by resources and energy stocks while a $5.1 billion takeover of Toll Holdings by Japan Post helped overshadow weak corporate earnings.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 28.4 points to 5,886.6 by 0117 GMT. The benchmark eased 0.5 percent on Tuesday. The index is up 8.8 percent so far this year, staying in sight of a seven-year high.

The market had opened strong on hopes of a Greece debt deal but quickly lost steam following disappointing earnings. It gathered momentum after the shares of freight and logistics firm Toll opened 47 percent higher to their Tuesday close.

“We have shaken off some early jitters and now nicely entrenched in positive territory, a lot of optimism is really boosted by the takeover of Toll Holdings,” said Ben Le Brun, market analyst at OptionsXpress.

Energy stocks such as Oil Search, Origin and Caltex were up 1 to 3 percent. Major miners Rio and BHP Billiton (NYSE: BBL – news) rose 0.9 and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Financials alone weighed on the index following poor earnings and dismal guidance from top companies such as IAG and ANZ Bank.

“From an earnings point of view, there’s been more misses than hits today. Some of the more fancy ASX companies such as Ardent Leisure, Primary Healthcare, and CarSales.com were significant losers,” Brun said.

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