Bloomberg News

Australian Shares Climb on Earnings; Benchmark Touches 5,000

February 12, 2013

Australian shares rose to the highest level in nearly three years, with the benchmark equities gauge touching 5,000, after earnings from Commonwealth Bank of Australia and CSL Ltd. boosted investor optimism.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the nation’s largest lender, climbed 2.4 percent as retail banking and wealth management boosted first-half profit by 1 percent. CSL advanced 0.9 percent as Australia’s biggest pharmaceutical company reported a 24 percent increase in first-half profit.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index gained 0.8 percent to 5,000.20 as of 10:35 a.m. in Sydney, heading for the highest closing level since April 2010. New Zealand’s NZX 50 Index slid 0.2 percent to 4,209.685.

Of the 299 companies on the MSCI Asia Pacific Index, a benchmark for Asian equities, that reported earnings this quarter and for which Bloomberg has estimates, 53 percent have exceeded profit expectations. Some 53 percent have missed sales projections. That compares with 74 percent of S&P 500 companies that topped profit forecasts during the period, while 34 percent fell short of sales estimates, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

To contact the reporter on this story: Adam Haigh in Sydney at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: John McCluskey at

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