August 20, 2019 / 2:34 AM / 4 months ago

Australia shares gain for 2nd day on stimulus hopes; BHP falls

* Energy sub-index rallies, after gain in oil prices on Monday

* BHP slips to over 6-month low as dividend disappoints

* Gold stocks extend falls

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares stretched their gains into a second session on Tuesday, tracking an overnight Wall Street rally, as hopes for more stimulus measures from China and Germany eased global worries about an impending recession.

Investors have been jittery since last week’s brief inversion of the yield curve between 2-year and 10-year U.S. Treasuries. But risk appetite recovered after China’s central bank unveiled a key interest rate reform over the weekend to help steer borrowing costs lower for companies.

Germany too has indicated it could make available up to 50 billion euros ($55.43 billion) of extra spending.

Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% by 0132 GMT, after closing 1% higher on Monday.

The Financials sub-index, an index heavyweight, strengthened 0.3% with top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia gaining up to 1%.

However, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group slipped 0.5% after it said its New Zealand arm would be most affected by the Australian regulatory decision to limit banks’ exposure to their units.

The energy sector rallied for a second consecutive session, adding about 1.5%, riding on strong crude prices that gained roughly 2% on Monday after a weekend attack on a Saudi oil facility threatened supplies.

Beach Energy was the top percentage gainer in the sector for a second straight session, rising about 6%.

Shares of Oil Search climbed about a percent after the firm said its half-year profit more than doubled and raised its dividend, boosted by robust output at its key Papua New Guinea liquefied natural gas project.

Gold stocks extended falls after interests in the safe-haven metal weakened, sending the sub-index down more than 3%.

Major gold miners Newcrest Mining Ltd and Evolution Mining dropped 2.5% and 3.5%, respectively.

The mining and metals sector took a further hit with BHP Group down about 1% to a more than six-month low as the mining behemoth’s record dividend payout still fell slightly short of some expectations.

Shares of online retailer Ltd jumped as much as 11.5% to their highest since May 30 after it reported an about 22% jump in full-year profit.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 10,743.15.

Dairy firm a2 Milk Co and Precinct Properties New Zealand Ltd were the top percentage gainers on the benchmark, rising 2.7% and 2%, respectively. ($1 = 0.9021 euros) (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Himani Sarkar)

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