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Australia, NZ: Shares rebound as investors take Trump victory in stride


[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose over 3 per cent on Thursday in their best gain in five years, as investors absorbed Republican Donald Trump's shock win in the US presidential election.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 3.3 per cent, or 172.244 points, higher at 5,328.8, after declining 1.9 per cent in the previous session.

Australian market tracked gains in US stocks. The Dow jumped 1.4 per cent and the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq both added 1.11 per cent on Wednesday.

The Wall Street rebound was based on investor belief that the Republican President-elect's policies are better for economic growth in the short-term than Mrs Clinton's would have been, said Jeffrey Gundlach, chief executive of DoubleLine Capital.

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All major sectors except gold gained, while the number of issues advanced were twice the decliners on the overall Australian stock exchange.

The "Big 4" banks, alongside mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, were the top performers on the benchmark index.

Fortescue Metals Group surged as much as 12.5 per cent to its highest in nearly three years, with 38.7 million shares changing hands, nearly thrice the 30-day average.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended one per cent, or 69.51 points, higher at 6,733.72 in heavy trading.

New Zealand's central bank lowered interest rates to a record low of 1.75 per cent and it said international factors, including US political uncertainty, were the major risks to the country's economy.

Financial stocks drove the gains, with Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group both adding more than 5 per cent.