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Australia: Shares propped up by miners, New Zealand flat in thin trade
[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose on Tuesday as heavyweight mining stocks benefited from firmer commodity prices, although negative commentary from some annual general meetings weighed on the healthcare and consumer sectors.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3 per cent, or 17.90 points, to 6,670.40 by 0052 GMT, while trading volumes were at roughly a third of their 30-day average. A public holiday in Japan kept regional stock trading thin in the Asian session.
Stocks were also helped by a stronger Wall Street lead, which ended Monday higher on positives cues from Sino-US trade negotiations.
The mining subindex rose 0.4 per cent, with BHP Group and Rio Tinto, the largest miners on the benchmark, adding about 0.4 per cent and 1.2 per cent, respectively.
The sector was bolstered by gains in copper and iron ore prices.
Financial stocks rose slightly, with three of the country's big four banks gaining about 0.5 per cent, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell 0.2 per cent.
Wealth manager AMP rose about 2.8 per cent after its funds management arm announced a US$6.2 billion fund raising.
On the other hand, healthcare stocks fell about 0.2 per cent. Hearing aid maker Cochlear was among the worst performers on the subindex, shedding nearly 4 per cent after the company flagged a lower earnings per share target at its annual general meeting.
"I think these AGMs have just taken a little bit of gloss off some of that optimism we saw coming from the US and other overseas markets," said Henry Jennings, senior analyst and portfolio manager at Marcustoday Financial Newsletter.
Super Retail Group plunged 4.8 per cent and was the biggest loser on the ASX 200 after the company flagged lower margins from increased promotional activities.
Retail financial services provider McMillan Shakespeare fell 3.5 per cent after it flagged challenging market conditions.
Oil and gas explorer Oil Search dipped after it cuts its 2019 production outlook.
New Zealand shares were largely flat, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index trading almost unchanged at 11,063.52. Trading volumes were at a fifth of their 30-day average.
The local listings of Westpac Banking Corp and ANZ rose about 0.7 per cent and 0.8 per cent, respectively, while electricity retailers Meridian Energy and Mercury NZ dropped more than 1 per cent each.