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Australia shares rise for seventh straight day; NZ up for a sixth
May 1, 2017 / 6:53 AM / 7 months ago

Australia shares rise for seventh straight day; NZ up for a sixth

(Updates to close)

May 1 (Reuters) - Australian shares continued their upward climb for a seventh straight session as losses in energy and basic materials were outweighed by gains in other sectors.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6 percent, or 32.436 points to 5,956.5 at the close of trade, logging its longest gaining streak since July 2016.

Industrial stocks led the gains with Sydney Airport adding 2 percent, and utility stocks AGL Energy and APA group rising 1.6 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

APA Group has agreed to buy Origin Energy’s Darling Downs solar farm project for A$200 million ($149.74 million).

Consumer stocks Wesfarmers and Woolworths also contributed to the gains, rising 1.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Bellamy’s Australia was the biggest gainer on the benchmark, up 5.1 percent.

Financial stocks reversed their earlier trend to end higher with the index rising 0.6 percent as Westpac Banking and Australian and New Zealand Banking Group inched up over 0.6 percent each.

Among miners, Rio Tinto lost nearly 1 percent, while Fortescue Metals declined more than 1 percent.

Gold stocks Newcrest Mining and Evolution Mining declined over 0.4 percent each as gold prices fell on Monday.

BHP Billiton, however, gained 0.7 percent, snapping two losing days.

Energy stocks fell as oil edged lower on Monday with Oil Search shedding 0.6 percent and Santos losing as much as 1.2 percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged up 0.05 percent, or 3.47 points, to 7,382.22 in its sixth straight session of gains.

The climb was led by the financial sector with Westpac Banking and Australia and New Zealand Banking gaining 0.5 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively.

Energy and consumer sectors led the losses with Z Energy Ltd shedding 0.7 percent and Fletcher Building Ltd falling 1.4 percent.

$1 = 1.3356 Australian dollars Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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