October 16, 2018 / 1:31 AM / a month ago

Australian share market steadies after selloff; NZ falls

* Aussie stocks rise on banks, miners

* Value seen in domestic shares, but global overhang still weighs - analyst

* Financials weigh on NZ

By Devika Syamnath

Oct 16 (Reuters) - Miners and bank stocks lifted the Australian equity market on Tuesday, enjoying some respite after a steep sell-off last week when world markets were routed on concerns over global growth, rising U.S. borrowing costs and trade tensions.

The S&P/ASX 200 index advanced 0.4 percent, or 23.2 points, to 5,860.3 at 1258 GMT. The benchmark index lost about 5.6 percent since Oct. 8 up to Monday’s close.

“It’s just a relief bounce after the 6 days of selloff ... In the shorter term, we’re in a jumpy market and this is one of the days where we’ve had a bit of a bounce,” said Mathan Somasundaram, a market portfolio strategist at Blue Ocean Equities in Sydney.

A Wall Street rout last week cascaded through global equities, with investors selling across the board as rising U.S. interest rates, a bitter Sino-U.S. trade war and worries over global growth sapped confidence.

Markets still remain cautious amid downside risks, even as some value is seen emerging in domestic markets, Somasundaram said.

Financials and mining stocks led gainers in the early session.

The banking index added over a percent and the “big four” gained between 1.4 percent and 1.8 percent.

National Australia Bank said it would incur after-tax costs of A$314 million ($223.91 million) in connection with its customer remediation programme, the latest of the “big four” to flag hits to earnings as they pay a hefty price for poor banking practices revealed in a powerful inquiry.

The metals and mining index gained as much as 1.9 percent, with gold stocks climbing near 2 percent on safe-haven appeal, supported by bullion prices rallying on tensions between Western powers and Saudi Arabia.

Rio Tinto kicked off quarterly production season with its third-quarter iron ore shipments falling about 5 percent, hurt by planned maintenance and safety pauses across all operations following a fatality.

Rio’s shares, however, advanced 1.7 percent as investors appeared to have priced in the shipment drop.

Shares of rival BHP jumped 2.4 percent ahead of its first-quarter production report on Wednesday. The global miner upped its share in SolGold Plc, bolstering its position against top shareholder Newcrest Mining as it eyes SolGold’s promising Cascabel copper-gold project in Ecuador.

Whitehaven Coal lost about 3.4 percent after its equity coal sales fell 14 percent in the September quarter, as certain mechanical issues choked output from its Narrabri mine.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3 percent or 25.46 points lower to 8,812.61 at 1252 GMT, pressured by financials.

Locally listed shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd lost as much as 0.8 percent to a near 2-year low.

Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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