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Australia: Shares end firmer on trade truce, rate-cut hopes

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Australian shares closed higher on Monday as an agreement by Washington and Beijing to restart trade talks stoked risk appetite, while the prospects of a local interest rate cut also lent support.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares closed higher on Monday as an agreement by Washington and Beijing to restart trade talks stoked risk appetite, while the prospects of a local interest rate cut also lent support.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.4 per cent or 29.30 points at 6,648.10.

However, trading volumes were constrained ahead of an interest rate decision by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA). A Reuters survey saw nearly 70 per cent of participants expecting the RBA to cut the cash rate at its monthly meeting on Tuesday. The RBA had cut its rate in June, which had then prompted large moves into equities.

Most sectors were trading higher for the session, with heavyweight financial and mining stocks lending most support to the benchmark.

New Zealand stocks ended slightly lower after scaling a record high during the session. The index had closed at a record high on Friday.

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The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 0.3 per cent or 36.57 points to finish the session at 10,464.53.

REUTERS

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