October 29, 2018 / 5:52 AM / 10 months ago

Australia shares gain across the board; NZ ticks up

* Bargain hunting drives up stocks after recent sell-off

* Banks and miners drive gains in Australia

* New Zealand ticks up towards end of session (Updates to close)

Oct 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed higher on Monday, driven by financials and materials sectors as investors snapped up beaten down stocks after the recent sell-off in global markets.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 63 points at 5,728.200 to show a 1.1 percent gain - its biggest daily advance in nearly two weeks.

Last week the index lost 4.6 percent amid a rout in global equities over concerns of cooling global growth and trade war tensions.

Dominating the action on Monday, financials stocks rose 1.1 percent.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, the country’s third largest lender by market value, added 1.2 percent, while National Australia Bank edged 1.3 percent higher.

Investors await full-year results of both banks this week as the scandal-hit sector remains under intense scrutiny over wrongful charges towards clients.

Meanwhile, a surge Chinese iron ore futures bolstered appetite for materials, especially mining stocks.

The metals and mining stocks closed 1 percent higher, with the world’s biggest miner BHP notching a 1.5 percent gain.

The heathcare sector also advanced, climbing 2.7 percent, with Biotherapeutics major CSL Ltd gaining 3.9 percent.

Among energy stocks which also rose, oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd added 2 percent.

Beach Energy Ltd gained 3.3 percent after reporting a surge in quarterly sales and said fiscal year 2019 production would be on the higher-end of guidance.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ticked up, adding 0.55 percent or 47.14 points to finish the session at 8,615.54.

Online market place provider Trade Me Group Ltd was the biggest percentage gainer at close, adding 2.4 percent while sector heavyweight a2 Milk Company Ltd gained 1.1 percent. (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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