Australia shares edge higher on CSL, investors await earnings

Mon Aug 12, 2013 10:53pm EDT
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(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

SYDNEY Aug 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.1 percent on Tuesday, buoyed by a better-than-expected earnings season so far, with CSL shares underpinning the market with banks and miners lending some support.

The market has bounced back from a trough of 4,632.3 points hit on June 25, but worries about slowing growth in China and uncertainty about the U.S. Federal Reserve's stimulus programme have seen the index pull back from the 5,100 level reached in early August.

"The reporting season is driving the market at the moment, rather than overseas leads, and mostly they're exceeding expectations," said Michael Heffernan, senior client adviser and economist at broker Lonsec.

Analysts said earnings form major companies have been relatively close to expectations so far, but the market will continue to monitor reports from bluechips including Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Wesfarmers Ltd which are all due to report later this week, for cues on domestic growth.

Blood products maker CSL Ltd climbed 2.1 percent as analysts said investors were expecting a strong result and were positioning themselves ahead of the earnings report due on Wednesday.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 6.8 points to 5,115.4 by 0216 GMT, pushing towards near 3-month highs. The benchmark rose 1.1 percent on Monday.

The mining sector also underpinned the market, supported by Chinese steel futures, which stood at their highest since late April and on gold prices trading near three-week highs.

BHP Billiton Ltd was trading flat, while Rio Tinto Ltd rose 0.8 percent. Gold miner Regis Resources Ltd rallied 4 percent.   Continued...