Australia shares rise to 8-month high on resource sector, NZ at new peak
* Higher commodity and oil prices boost Australian shares
* Gold stocks cap some enthusiasm
* NZ index crosses 10,000 level
By Nikhil Nainan
April 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose to their highest
in nearly eight months on Tuesday buoyed by rising commodity
prices and supply concerns that supported oil, while New Zealand
shares jumped to a record high.
The S&P/ASX 200 index crossed the 6,300 level for
the first time since early-September, rising 0.7 percent or
41.80 points, by 0048 GMT as trading resumed after the Easter
break. The benchmark had edged higher on Thursday before the
Good Friday holiday.
Oil prices jumped to 2019 highs as the United States said it
would eliminate all waivers that allowed Iran's eight biggest
buyers, most of them in Asia, to continue purchasing limited
volumes without facing U.S. sanctions.
Another drop in Iranian exports would further squeeze supply
in a market already tightened through U.S. sanctions against
Iran and fellow OPEC member Venezuela, along with voluntary cuts
led by the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries.
Energy stocks added more than 2 percent, with Beach
Energy and Santos marking the biggest gains,
up 4.7 percent and 3.2 percent, respectively.
While resource stocks were bullish, gold miners held back
some of the gains among material stocks that had been buoyed by
China saying it would keep supporting its economy as pressure
Australia's main gold index dropped 1.9 percent with
top gold producer Newcrest Mining down more than 2
With iron ore prices on the rise, Fortescue Metals Group
rose 2.8 percent, with its larger steelmaking rivals
BHP Group and Rio Tinto up 0.6 percent and 1.2
Mathan Somasundaram, a Blue Ocean Equities market portfolio
strategist, said with China's economic outlook relatively stable
and commodity prices strong, the Aussie dollar stands to gain.
The Aussie is often considered a liquid proxy for China
which is the top buyer of Australian goods including iron ore
"That kind of higher currency means the banks tend to move
higher as well," he added.
Financials, the biggest constituent to the benchmark
index, were largely in positive territory.
The country's No. 2 bank Westpac Banking Corp was
up 0.8 percent, gains mirrored by Australia and New Zealand
"It all comes down to the banks," Somasundaram said. "Our
market is holding around these levels and I think if the banks
finish relatively strong, it will be even higher."
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose to a
record high of 10,036 points. It stood 0.6 percent higher at
Heavyweight a2 Milk Company gained more than 2
percent, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare neared 4
For more individual stocks activity click on
(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru
Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
© 2019 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved. Reuters content is the intellectual property of Thomson Reuters or its third party content providers. Any copying, republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Reuters. Thomson Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon. "Reuters" and the Reuters Logo are trademarks of Thomson Reuters and its affiliated companies.