June 11, 2019 / 6:39 AM / 2 months ago

Australia shares hit over 11-year high as global trade worries ease; NZ up

* Financials gain for 5th straight session

* Healthcare index closes up 3.5% to over 9-mth high

* Vocus up 8.9% on $2.10 bln AGL Energy offer (Updates to close)

June 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares gained on Tuesday, buoyed by financials and resource-based stocks, as the U.S. decision not to impose tariffs against Mexico eased some concerns about global trade tensions.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 1.6%, or 102.4 points, to 6,546.30, its highest level since December 2007. The benchmark was closed on Monday for a holiday, but gained for a fifth straight trading session.

Mexico on Friday agreed to curb the flow of Central American migrants across the border, leading to the United States suspending the proposed 5% tariffs on Mexican goods.

The U.S.-Mexico agreement eased concerns that the tariff spat would further depress the global economy, and in turn raised hopes that U.S. President Donald Trump might also seal a deal with China.

Meanwhile, China on Monday said it would boost funding support for major investment projects to support the cooling economy.

The metals and mining index advanced 1.3% boosted by a rise in iron ore and base metal prices.

Global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto rose 2.3% and 2.6%, respectively, while iron ore miner Fortescue Metals Group added 3.2%.

Financials gained for a fifth straight session, supported by hopes that last week’s rate cut by the Reserve Bank of Australia’s would shore up the slowing economy.

Investors also expect the U.S. Federal Reserve to speed up rate cuts this year after the shocking U.S. jobs data released on Friday.

Healthcare stocks, which have large exposure to the U.S. market, gained 3.5% to hit a more than 9-month closing high.

Index heavyweight CSL Ltd advanced 4.3%, while medical device maker Cochlear Ltd rose 3%.

Telecom firm Vocus Group gained 8.9% and was among the best performers on the Australian benchmark following a fresh A$3.02 billion ($2.10 billion) offer from AGL Energy .

Gold stocks declined 2%, with Northern Star Resources slipping 4.2% and Regis Resources ending down 4.4%. As risk sentiment improved, gold prices fell on Monday after investors moved away from safe haven assets.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended up 1.1% or 111.54 points to 10,139.15.

Data released earlier in the day showed the Pacific nation’s manufacturing sales volumes rose 2.0% in the first quarter, driven by a lift in volumes of dairy and meat products.

Synlait Milk added 1.1%, while a2 Milk Company rose 3.2% and was the top gainer on the benchmark index.

$1 = 1.4393 Australian dollars Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes

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