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Australia shares extend gains to 14-mth high, miners lead

(Adds details, comments, stocks on the move)

SYDNEY, Oct 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares gained 0.7 percent to a 14-month high on Friday, with mining stocks rising and the market supported by a fourth day of gains on Wall Street ahead of a U.S. payrolls report later in the day.

The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose only slightly last week after a big drop the week before, the Labor Department reported on Thursday, raising hopes that Friday's closely watched non-farm payrolls report would show improvement.

Among top miners, BHP Billiton

rose 0.8 percent while rival Rio Tinto

gained 1.3 percent by 0203 GMT. Newcrest Mining jumped 3 percent after the gold price soared to its highest price in 11 months.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index

was up 31.8 points at 4,484.2 by 0223 GMT. The benchmark has risen more than 2 percent this week.

The banking sector was mostly strong, with Westpac

leading gains, up 0.3 percent at A$25.65. National Australia Bank

bucked the trend, slipping 0.3 percent.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

rose 0.4 percent, or 17 points, to 3,899. STOCKS ON THE MOVE * Discovery Metals

leaped 12.4 percent to A$1.64. A private equity firm founded by Chinese billionaire Yu Yong and a fund backed by state-owned China Development Bank have offered to buy the Australia-listed copper explorer, valuing the company at about $850 million.

(0206 GMT) * Bank of Queensland

dropped 5.2 percent to A$7.55. It expects to make a profit of $70 million to $75 million in the second half of its fiscal year, but that would still result in a full-year loss of between $20.6 million and $15.6 million.

(0207 GMT) * Woolworths

rose 1.8 percent to A$29.77 after the top supermarket operator said it plans to spin off 69 shopping centres into a new property group valued at A$1.4 billion, and will raise up to A$506 million to partly fund the deal.

(0207 GMT) * Billabong International lost 0.9 percent to A$1.07. TPG Capital Management's

$700 million bid for the surfwear company is still on the table although the struggling Australian retailer needs to address some concerns raised by the private equity firm.

(0208 GMT)

(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Edmund Klamann)

((thuy.ong@thomsonreuters.com)(+61 2 9373 1236))

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