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Australian shares resume trade without incident, gain on vaccine hopes; NZ up

* Trading on ASX resumes without incident

* Oil prices jump on vaccine hopes, boost energy stocks

* Energy index hits highest since June 11

Nov 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Tuesday on positive news from another coronavirus vaccine trial, and equity market operations resumed without incident after a software glitch forced the exchange operator to halt trade in the previous session.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.23% at 6,484.3 points by 2315 GMT, hovering at its highest since March 3. The index had risen to that level with a 1.2% gain in the previous session before trading was paused.

Trading on Australia’s stock exchange was halted just 20 minutes from the open on Monday due to “market data issues”, cutting Australian equities off from a rally in broader Asian markets fuelled by positive data from Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine.

Optimism continued on Tuesday after another U.S. drugmaker, Moderna Inc, said its experimental COVID-19 vaccine was 94.5% effective in preventing infection, lending hope that with an effective drug, economies may be able to reopen fully sooner than seen.

Oil prices jumped on the news, sending the ASX 200 Energy index up 3.1% to its highest since June 11, led by Beach Energy Ltd, up 5.1%, followed by Oil Search Ltd , gaining 4.8%.

Sector heavyweight Woodside Petroleum Ltd rose 3.9% while Santos Ltd added 4.8%.

Chinese iron ore futures rose 0.7%, helping the index’s heavyweight stocks, miners BHP Group Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd add nearly 2% and 1%, respectively.

Healthcare stocks, which had sharply risen so far this year on increased hospital visits and tests, traded about 0.8% lower. Ramsay Health Care Ltd was among top losers, down 1.8%.

The number of issues on the ASX that advanced were 726 while 436 declined.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to hit a fresh peak at 12,801.43 points. Outdoor clothing retailer Kathmandu Holdings was the top percentage gainer, with a 3.2% rise. (Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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