SYDNEY, July 31 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose 0.52 percent on Friday, gaining for the first month since February, as investors bought into higher yielding financial sector stocks and risk appetites improved on more upbeat U.S. economic outlook.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 29.677 points to 5,699.200 at the close of trade, its third straight day of gains. The benchmark gained 4.4 percent throughout July.
20:31 UK PM May's Conservatives hold 11 point lead over Labour: ORB poll22
12:31 U.S. Economy Grew 0.7% in First Quarter, Slowest in Three Years9
03:32 Asia stocks rise, euro steady as relief from French vote buoys sentiment22
12:22 French election result gives markets a start-of-week lift26