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Australian-Securities-ExchangeMELBOURNE: Australian shares may rally beyond 17-month highs on Wednesday after US stocks, oil and base metal prices all rose on signs of progress in talks to avoid the U.S. "fiscal cliff". 


* The stock index futures rose 0.6 percent to 4,631, a 35.8-point premium to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index. The benchmark climbed 0.5 percent on Tuesday to 4,595.2. 


* New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.6 percent to 4,002.5 in early trade. 


* US stocks rallied on strong volume on Tuesday, capping off the S&P 500's best two-day run in a month, on confidence that a deal would be struck in Washington to avoid painful spending cuts and tax hikes that could hurt the economy. 


* Copper consolidated gains as progress in the US budget negotiations eased fears the world's biggest economy could tip into recession. 


* New Zealand's annual current account deficit narrowed slightly in the third quarter as trade surplus shrank but foreign investors earned less from local investments, data showed. 


* Investors await comment from surfwear company Billabong International after it put its shares in a trading halt on Monday ahead of a possible takeover bid for the company, the latest development in a tumultuous year in which three previous takeover offers failed. 


Copyright Reuters, 2012


 



 
Index Closing Chg%
Arrow DJIA 16,408.54 0.10
Arrow Nasdaq 4,095.52 0.23
Arrow S&P 1,864.85 0.14
Arrow FTSE 6,625.25 0.62
Arrow DAX 9,409.71 0.99
Arrow CAC-40 4,431.81 0.59
Arrow Nikkei 14,516.27 0.68
Arrow H.Seng 22,760.24 0.28
Arrow Sensex 22,628.84 1.58





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Annual2012/13
Foreign Debt $60.9bn
Per Cap Income $1,368
GDP Growth 3.6%
Average CPI 7.5%
MonthlyFebruary
Trade Balance $-1.433 bln
Exports $2.167 bln
Imports $3.600 bln
WeeklyApril 14, 2014
Reserves $9.713 bln