Australian and New Zealand stock rises 4.3% Monday


SYDNEY, Australia (AP) - Australia's main stock market index rose 4.32 percent Monday, led by strong bank and resource shares.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index gained 171.5 points to 4,142.3.

The Australian and New Zealand markets have mostly paralleled rises and falls on Wall Street in the past two weeks of economic turmoil.

Analysts hope this could be the beginning of a recovery.

"It's certainly a welcome rally and it's getting some of the analysts very excited,'' said ABN Amro Morgans private client adviser Bill Bishop.

"It would be nice to think (it) is the start of a modest climb. It is encouraging.''

Major miners were among the day's biggest winners, with BHP Billiton rising A$1.90, or 7.73 percent, to A$26.49, and rival Rio Tinto gaining A$3.67, or 5.86 percent, to A$66.29.

The banking sector was also stronger, with major banks gaining at least 4 percent.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX-50 index rose 81.15 points, or 2.89 percent, to 2,889.92 on low turnover.

It was the index's best gain in six days, but it still remained close to four-year lows.

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