October 22, 2019 / 6:13 AM / 2 months ago

Australian, NZ shares cheered by Sino-U.S. trade optimism

(Updates to close)

Oct 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares advanced on Tuesday on signs that Washington and Beijing had made some headway in resolving a protracted trade row, while miners also benefited from a strong tailwind of higher commodity prices.

The S&P/ASX 200 index tacked on 0.3%, or 19.70 points, to 6,672.20, having ended flat the previous day.

Sentiment improved as China’s Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng on Tuesday said the two countries have achieved some progress in their trade talks, a day after U.S. President Donald Trump made equally positive comments on the prospects for ending the dispute.

The mining subindex rose 1% with BHP Group and Rio Tinto, the largest miners on the benchmark, adding about 1.2% and 1.5%, respectively.

The uptick was underpinned as supply concerns bolstered prices of iron ore and copper.

Financial stocks got a lift from National Australia Bank adding 0.5% and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group pulling 0.4% ahead.

Wealth manager AMP Ltd jumped 2.3% and closed at a 3-week high after its funds management arm announced a $6.2 billion fund raising.

Energy stocks gained after two sessions of declines as oil prices steadied. Beach Energy added 1.7%, while Viva Energy Group rallied 4.6%.

Elsewhere the business outlook and earnings swayed some of the trading. Among them was Oil Search, which declined 1% after it cuts its 2019 production outlook.

Hearing aid maker Cochlear Ltd tumbled 5.5% as the company flagged a lower earnings per share target at its annual general meeting.

Super Retail Group plunged 8.6% and was the worst performer on the ASX benchmark after the company flagged lower margins from increased promotional activities.

Retail financial services provider McMillan Shakespeare fell 4.3% as it signalled challenging market conditions.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% to 11,090.39.

Fonterra advanced 1.3%, after the dairy giant increased the 2019-2020 guidance range for the price it pays farmers to procure milk. (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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