11 Mar 2009

Markets rebound on Wall St rally

10:01 pm on 11 March 2009

Markets in Asia and the Pacific rebounded on Wednesday, following a powerful rally on Wall Street.

Japan's Nikkei stock index soared 4.55%, snapping a three-day downturn, sparked by good news from the ailing banking sector.

The Nikkei-225 index rose 321.14 points to end at 7,376.12. Earlier in the week the index fell to a 26-year low.

The broader Topix index of all first-section shares climbed 18.78 points, or 2.67%, to 722.28.

The strong rebound was triggered by news that troubled banking giant Citigroup was profitable in January and February, enjoying its best quarter-to-date performance since the third quarter of 2007.

On Wall Street, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 379.44 points, or 5.8%, to 6,926.49.

The Australian share market closed nearly 2% higher buoyed by the local mining and financial sectors and following the rally in the US.

At the 1615 AEDT close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 59.9 points, or 1.88%, at 3,244.4, while the broader All Ordinaries index added 55.9 points, or 1.78%, to 3,199.1.

In New Zealand, the benchmark index rose 35 points, or 1.4%, to 2497 on turnover of $88 million.

Top stocks were mixed. Telecom was up 3 points $2.38, Fletcher Building gained 11c to $5.26, while The Warehouse rose 17c to $3.52. Contact Energy fell 4c to close at $5.56.