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Australia: Shares post best gain in 7 months on rate cut hopes, trade optimism

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AUSTRALIAN shares recorded their best session in nearly seven months on Monday as a downgrade in the country's growth outlook fuelled expectations of a further domestic rate cut.

The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 1.6 per cent or 110 points to 6,849.7, as a preliminary trade deal between Washington and Beijing also boosted stocks. The rise was the benchmark's biggest daily gain since May.

Resource stocks, which churn out most of the nation's exports, gained sharply after the trade deal turned down the heat on a 17-month long tariff war that had triggered a growth downturn in China, Australia's biggest trading partner.

The world's biggest miner BHP Group advanced 1.6 per cent, finishing at its strongest since Aug 1, while the nation's biggest oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum climbed 1 per cent.

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