The Financial Express
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Australian shares extend gains

| Updated: October 19, 2017 14:48:14

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Australian shares extended their rally on Thursday, led by robust bank stocks as positive sentiment spilled over from another record day on Wall Street.


The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 33.07 points, or 0.6 per cent, to 5,765.2 by 0211 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.8 per cent on Wednesday.


Financial stocks were on a tear, accounting for over three quarters of the rise in the benchmark. The 'Big Four' banks dominated, advancing by about 0.9 to 2.7 per cent.


Oil and gas majors Santos Ltd and Woodside Petroleum led upbeat energy stocks.


Santos jumped about 8 per cent at one point, its highest intra-day leap in 33 weeks, after it reported a 30 per cent rise in sales revenue for the quarter.


Woodside rose a little over 1.0 per cent despite posting a drop in quarterly output.


Oil prices climbed nearly 2.0 per cent overnight to a six-week peak on a surprising drop in distillate inventories.


Bucking the trend, diversified miner South32 edged 2.5 per cent lower, as the biggest drag on the bourse. The miner reported a slump in quarterly coking coal production, reports Reuters.

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