Australia shares rise, led by banks and defensive stocks

SYDNEY, Jan 16: Australian shares rallied 0.5 percent on Wednesday led by banks and defensive stocks after Wall Street posted modest gains on stronger-than-expected retail data.
The defensives sector helped lead the index higher, with blood products maker CSL Ltd surging 3.5 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was 21.8 points higher to 4,738.4, hovering at 20-month highs, according to latest data. On Tuesday, the index slipped 0.1 percent to 4,716.6.
New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index finished flat, down 1.7 points to 4,169.2.

(AGENCIES)

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