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Australia: Shares track Wall Street higher as stimulus hopes linger

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Australian shares gained on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street indexes that rose overnight on hopes of more stimulus measures to combat a coronavirus-led economic slump, while higher oil prices boosted energy stocks.

[BENGALURU] Australian shares gained on Tuesday, tracking Wall Street indexes that rose overnight on hopes of more stimulus measures to combat a coronavirus-led economic slump, while higher oil prices boosted energy stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.47 per cent to 5,972.2, on track for a third straight session of gains.

The main indexes on Wall Street rose between 0.59 per cent and 1.11 per cent, as investors held on to hopes for further government help from last week when both House Democrats and the Trump administration had said they were looking to provide more infrastructure-based stimulus.

But rising global Covid-19 cases weighed, with the World Health Organization saying Sunday's more than 183,000 new cases were highest for a single day yet.

Meanwhile, the IHS Markit June flash composite PMI for Australia rose to 52.6 from 26.4 in May.

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The energy subindex rose 0.7 per cent, as oil prices jumped on tighter crude supplies from major producers and easing lockdowns.

Retailer Woolworths Group shed 0.6 per cent after it said employees at its pub and hotels group ALH Hotels had been underpaid, and that the cost to remediate them would eat into its full-year operating profit.

Technology stocks rose 1.31 per cent after Wall Street peers gained on help from a resurgent Apple Inc which announced new products at its annual conference for software developers.

Financial stocks rose 0.22 per cent led by AMP, up 8.22 per cent and the benchmark's top percentage gainer, after it said all regulatory approvals for the sale of AMP Life had been received.

The mining index rose 0.98 per cent, led by Alumina, up 4.86 per cent.

The number of issues on the ASX that advanced were 533 while 200 declined.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.27 per cent to 11,188.9, helped by utility stocks like Meridian Energy, which gained over 2 per cent.

REUTERS

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