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Australia: Shares chase Wall Street higher; New Zealand rises

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Australian shares rose on Wednesday as investors looked past a spike in Covid-19 cases to overnight gains on Wall Street, with gold stocks leading the charge on firm bullion prices.

[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose on Wednesday as investors looked past a spike in Covid-19 cases to overnight gains on Wall Street, with gold stocks leading the charge on firm bullion prices.

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 1.2 per cent to 6,012.8 by 1238 GMT, bouncing back from Tuesday's 0.6 per cent fall, even as Australia tightened restrictions on movement to contain a fresh outbreak of Covid-19 that has pushed its case tally beyond 10,000.

Overnight, the three major indexes on Wall Street jumped between 0.9 per cent and 2.1 per cent, despite a record daily rise in Covid-19 deaths in three Southern US states.

Lifting investor sentiment, the United Kingdom said on Tuesday the first round of trade talks with Australia had been "productive".

All major sectors rose for the day, with the gold sub-index adding about 3 per cent. Newcrest Mining, the country's biggest listed gold miner, gained up to 3.5 per cent.

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The energy sub-index climbed as much as 2.8 per cent on firm oil prices.

Shares of Woodside Petroleum fell 1.4 per cent after the country's biggest independent gas producer posted a 29 per cent sequential drop in quarterly revenue.

Meanwhile, Origin Energy said it would book full-year impairments of about A$1.2 billion (S$1.17 billion) after tax due to a coronavirus-induced blow to oil and gas prices.

The mining sub-index climbed 2.8 per cent to its highest since January after iron one prices jumped on Tuesday.

Heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto gained more than 2 per cent each.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.7 per cent to 11,570.8.

The top percentage gainer on the benchmark was Vista Group International Ltd with a jump of 6.7 per cent, while Napier Port Holdings was one of the top losers after reporting dismal quarterly trade volumes.

REUTERS

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