November 4, 2019 / 5:46 AM / 3 months ago

Australia, New Zealand shares end up on trade optimism, banks cap gains

* Mining stocks biggest boost to ASX 200

* Bank stocks sold off after weak Westpac results

* Financials subindex marks sixth-straight losing session (Updates to close)

Nov 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended higher on Monday on growing signs that Washington and Beijing were inching towards a trade deal, although gains were capped by losses in major bank stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% or 17.8 points to 6,686.90 at the close of trade.

The United States and China both said on Friday that they had made progress in talks aimed at defusing their protracted trade war, while U.S. officials said a deal could be reached this month.

Trade-sensitive resources producers in Australia, which sell most of their goods to China, were the biggest boosts to the ASX 200 for the day.

The metals and mining index closed 2.2% higher, with heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto adding 2.2% and 3.5% for the day, respectively.

Mining services provider NRW Holdings Ltd gained 13.3%, and was the best performer on the ASX 200. The stock rose after NRW confirmed it was selected as the preferred bidder for a Western-Australian mining services company.

On the other hand, banking stocks were the biggest drags on the ASX 200, with three of the big four banks falling between 0.9% to 2.5%.

Bank stocks were sold down after Westpac Banking Corp , the second largest lender in the country by market capitalization, reported a 15% slide in full-year earnings citing challenging local conditions. The stock was on a trading halt for a $1.73 billion capital raising.

The news comes only a few days after peer ANZ missed market expectations with its second-half profit.

The financial subindex shed 0.8%, its sixth straight day of losses. National Australia Bank, which is due to report its results on Thursday, fell 2.5% and was the largest loser on the index.

New Zealand stocks ended higher on strength in healthcare and utility stocks, although the local listings of Australian banks weighed. The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% or 39.86 points to finish the session at 10,801.55.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp ended 2.1% higher, while Meridian Energy added 1.6%.

Local shares of ANZ fell 1.1%. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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