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Australia shares lifted by US-China tariff moves, hopes for easing; NZ up
[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose along with others on Thursday as investors cheered gestures of goodwill in the bruising US-China trade war, and hoped that the European Central Bank later in the day will kick off a wave of global policy easing.
The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.3 per cent to 6,659.40 by 0249 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.4 per cent higher on Wednesday.
US President Donald Trump agreed to delay an additional hike in tariffs on Chinese goods due in October by two weeks, after China announced tariff exemptions for a basket of US goods.
"Any glimpse of peace in the US-China trade war can be explained as a positive for equities, including the banks," said Marc Kennis, principal of Pitt Street Research.
On Thursday, ECB policymakers are widely expected to cut rates and announce additional monetary stimulus.
Financial stocks, the heaviest constituents of the Australian benchmark, advanced nearly 1 per cent to a six-week peak.
The "Big Four" banks were all trading higher, with the largest lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia advancing as much as 1 per cent to a 5-1/2-week peak.
Technology and healthcare stocks rose almost 1 per cent each. Logistics software maker WiseTech Global climbing nearly 2 per cent, while heavyweight drugmaker CSL Ltd climbed nearly 1 per cent.
Miners received a boost from a rise in iron ore prices, pushing the industry index 0.3 per cent higher.
The world's largest miner BHP Group rose as much as 0.8 per cent to its highest since Aug 14, while Rio Tinto climbed to its highest level since Aug 5.
Major diversified miner South32, however, shed as much as 1.4 per cent as the company's stock was trading ex-dividend.
All major sectors were up with the exception of energy stocks, which slipped 0.5 per cent.
Whitehaven Coal Ltd tumbled as much as 2.6 per cent, and oil and gas company Woodside Petroleum fell about 1 per cent.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index inched 0.2 per cent higher to 10,943.63, boosted by telecom and financial stocks.
Spark New Zealand gained 2.5 per cent, while New Zealand shares of Westpac Banking Corp climbed 1.5 per cent.