Australia shares enjoy best day this year after Dow record; NZ climbs

(Updates to close)

July 4 (Reuters) – Australian shares rose on Tuesday in a
broad-based rally driven by financials, posting their biggest
percentage gain since November, after the Dow hit an intraday
record overnight, with gains in oil prices boosting sentiment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index jumped 1.8 percent, or 99.31
points, to 5,783.80 at the close of trade. The benchmark had
slipped 0.6 percent on Monday.

All benchmark sectors were in the black, with advancing
issues outnumbering declining ones by a 11.2-to-1 ratio.

Financials drove the gains, with the Big Four banks –
Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia,
National Australia Bank and Australia New Zealand
Banking – all up more than 1.8 percent.

Aussie lenders were also buoyed by news that opposition
lawmakers in the state of South Australia vowed to block a
state-based bank tax, a win for the lenders left reeling when
the government unexpectedly unveiled a levy in its annual
budget.

Energy stocks saw strong support after oil rose more than 2
percent on Monday, resuming its longest stretch of daily gains
in more than five years.

Among energy stocks, Beach Energy advanced 3.4
percent and Caltex Australia Ltd was up 3 percent.

The benchmark showed little reaction to Australia’s central
bank holding interest rates at a record low 1.50
percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4
percent or 32.21 points to finish the session at 7,620.64.

The gains were driven by Spark New Zealand, which
surged 3.6 percent.
(Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard
Borsuk)


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