March 27, 2018 / 5:53 AM / 9 months ago

Australia shares bounce on easing trade war worries; NZ rises too

* Aussie shares erase previous day’s losses

* Materials, industrials lead gains on ASX

* Consumer staples, utilities boost NZ shares (Updates to close)

March 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed on Tuesday on a surge in base metal and oil prices, as trade war fears eased on reports and indications the United States and China are willing to renegotiate tariffs and trade imbalances.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.7 percent, or 41.8 points, to 5,832.3 at the close of trade.

On Friday, fears of a trade war made the benchmark slide 2 percent, and it shed another 0.5 percent on Monday.

On Tuesday, worries shrank following Chinese Premier Li Keqiang’s pledge to maintain trade negotiations and ease access to China for American businesses.

Chinese steel futures rose on Tuesday from near nine-month lows, while base metals prices climbed across the board, lifted by the hopes a trade war between top metals consumer China and the United States may be avoided.

Oil prices also edged higher on Tuesday, pushed up by concerns that tensions in the Middle East could lead to supply disruptions.

Leading the Australian index’s gains were materials and industrials.

Material stocks gained 1.3 percent, with index heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto rising 1.4 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.

Toll roads networks developer Transurban Group advanced 2 percent and Sydney Airport Holdings added 2.2 percent.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.9 percent, or 75.71 points, to 8,508.12.

Healthcare stocks contributed to the day’s gains, with CSL Ltd up 1.3 percent.

Consumer staples and utility stocks led the gains, with a2 Milk Company Ltd jumping more than 3 percent and Contact Energy Ltd up 2.5 percent.

The main index’s biggest gainer was Synlait Milk Ltd . up 6.9 percent. (Reporting by Christina Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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