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Australia shares gain across the board; NZ ticks up

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares closed higher on Monday, driven by financials and materials sectors as investors snapped up beaten down stocks after the recent sell-off in global markets.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 63 points at 5,728.200 to show a 1.1 per cent gain - its biggest daily advance in nearly two weeks.

Last week the index lost 4.6 per cent amid a rout in global equities over concerns of cooling global growth and trade war tensions.

Dominating the action on Monday, financials stocks rose 1.1 per cent.

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Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the country's third largest lender by market value, added 1.2 per cent, while National Australia Bank edged 1.3 per cent higher.

Investors await full-year results of both banks this week as the scandal-hit sector remains under intense scrutiny over wrongful charges towards clients.

Meanwhile, a surge in Chinese iron ore futures bolstered appetite for materials, especially mining stocks.

The metals and mining stocks closed 1 per cent higher, with the world's biggest miner BHP notching a 1.5 per cent gain.

The heathcare sector also advanced, climbing 2.7 per cent, with Biotherapeutics major CSL Ltd gaining 3.9 per cent.

Among energy stocks which also rose, oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd added 2 per cent.

Beach Energy Ltd gained 3.3 per cent after reporting a surge in quarterly sales and said fiscal year 2019 production would be on the higher-end of guidance.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ticked up, adding 0.55 per cent or 47.14 points to finish the session at 8,615.54.

Online market place provider Trade Me Group Ltd was the biggest per centage gainer at close, adding 2.4 per cent while sector heavyweight a2 Milk Company Ltd gained 1.1 per cent.

REUTERS