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Australia: Shares rise for seventh straight day

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[SYDNEY] Australian shares continued their upward climb for a seventh straight session as losses in energy and basic materials were outweighed by gains in other sectors.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6 per cent, or 32.436 points to 5,956.5 at the close of trade, logging its longest gaining streak since July 2016.

Industrial stocks led the gains with Sydney Airport adding 2 per cent, and utility stocks AGL Energy and APA group rising 1.6 per cent and 2.6 per cent, respectively.

APA Group has agreed to buy Origin Energy's Darling Downs solar farm project for A$200 million (S$209.5 million).

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Consumer stocks Wesfarmers and Woolworths also contributed to the gains, rising 1.4 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively.

Bellamy's Australia was the biggest gainer on the benchmark, up 5.1 per cent.

Financial stocks reversed their earlier trend to end higher with the index rising 0.6 per cent as Westpac Banking and Australian and New Zealand Banking Group inched up over 0.6 per cent each.

Among miners, Rio Tinto lost nearly 1 per cent, while Fortescue Metals declined more than 1 per cent.

Gold stocks Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining declined over 0.4 per cent each as gold prices fell on Monday.

BHP Billiton, however, gained 0.7 per cent, snapping two losing days.

Energy stocks fell as oil edged lower on Monday with Oil Search shedding 0.6 per cent and Santos losing as much as 1.2 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged up 0.05 per cent, or 3.47 points, to 7,382.22 in its sixth straight session of gains.

The climb was led by the financial sector with Westpac Banking and Australia and New Zealand Banking gaining 0.5 per cent and 0.6 per cent, respectively.

Energy and consumer sectors led the losses with Z Energy Ltd shedding 0.7 per cent and Fletcher Building Ltd falling 1.4 per cent.


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