December 19, 2017 / 5:51 AM / a year ago

Australia shares close near 10-year high; NZ hits record high

(Updates to close)

Dec 19 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed near a 10-year high on Tuesday as optimism over the U.S. tax bill boosted global investor sentiment, while stronger commodities prices supported a rally in materials stocks.

Wall Street hit record closing highs on Monday as the tax bill moved closer to passage with Republican U.S. Senator Susan Collins saying on Monday she would vote for the tax overhaul.

All 10 sector indexes rose, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 0.5 percent or 32.9 points to 6,071.8 at the close of trade. The benchmark added 0.7 percent on Monday.

Materials stocks led the gains on the benchmark as they benefited from a rally in iron ore futures.

Heavyweight BHP rose 0.8 percent to its highest since Nov. 9 and accounted for most of the gains on the benchmark, while its peer Rio Tinto Ltd climbed 1.3 percent to a more than one month closing high.

Financials followed closely, with the sector index adding 0.4 percent.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd and Commonwealth Bank of Australia gained 0.7 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

Orocobre Ltd climbed 5.2 percent to a record closing high and was among the top percentage gainers on the benchmark. The lithium explorer said on Monday it expects pricing for first half of 2018 to be about 25 percent higher than prices received in second half of 2017.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.7 percent, or 57.05 points, to finish the session at a record closing high of 8,401.2.

Healthcare and consumer stocks drove the gains, with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd rising 1.6 percent to a record high, while a2 Milk Company Ltd climbed 2.3 percent.

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes

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