Australia shares gain for 2nd day on stimulus hopes; BHP falls
* Energy sub-index rallies, after gain in oil prices on
* BHP slips to over 6-month low as dividend disappoints
* Gold stocks extend falls
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
Aug 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares stretched their gains
into a second session on Tuesday, tracking an overnight Wall
Street rally, as hopes for more stimulus measures from China and
Germany eased global worries about an impending recession.
Investors have been jittery since last week's brief
inversion of the yield curve between 2-year and 10-year U.S.
Treasuries. But risk appetite recovered after China's central
bank unveiled a key interest rate reform over the weekend to
help steer borrowing costs lower for companies.
Germany too has indicated it could make available up to 50
billion euros ($55.43 billion) of extra spending.
Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% by 0132 GMT,
after closing 1% higher on Monday.
The Financials sub-index, an index heavyweight,
strengthened 0.3% with top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia
gaining up to 1%.
However, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
slipped 0.5% after it said its New Zealand arm would be most
affected by the Australian regulatory decision to limit banks'
exposure to their units.
The energy sector rallied for a second consecutive
session, adding about 1.5%, riding on strong crude prices that
gained roughly 2% on Monday after a weekend attack on a Saudi
oil facility threatened supplies.
Beach Energy was the top percentage gainer in the
sector for a second straight session, rising about 6%.
Shares of Oil Search climbed about a percent after
the firm said its half-year profit more than doubled and raised
its dividend, boosted by robust output at its key Papua New
Guinea liquefied natural gas project.
Gold stocks extended falls after interests in the safe-haven
metal weakened, sending the sub-index down more than 3%.
Major gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd and Evolution
Mining dropped 2.5% and 3.5%, respectively.
The mining and metals sector took a further hit with
BHP Group down about 1% to a more than six-month low as
the mining behemoth's record dividend payout still fell slightly
short of some expectations.
Shares of online retailer Kogan.com Ltd jumped as
much as 11.5% to their highest since May 30 after it reported an
about 22% jump in full-year profit.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index rose 0.4% to 10,743.15.
Dairy firm a2 Milk Co and Precinct Properties New
Zealand Ltd were the top percentage gainers on the
benchmark, rising 2.7% and 2%, respectively.
($1 = 0.9021 euros)
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by
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