(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Nov 3 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose sharply on Tuesday as bank stocks bounced back from heavy selling a day earlier and the central bank hinted at a possible cut in the near future after maintaining cash rate steady at a record low of 2.0 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index opened 1 percent higher and rallied further to close up 1.4 percent, or 73.4 points, at 5,239.2, after the Reserve Bank of Australia said subdued inflation meant there might be room for further easing if needed to support the economy. The benchmark has fallen 3.2 percent so far in 2015.
Meanwile, New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index reached a new record high, adding 0.64 percent, or 38.1 points, to finish the session at 6,022.0. (Reporting by Byron Kaye; Editing by Kavita Chandran)