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Australia: Shares jump 1.3% on Wall Street rebound, easing border curbs

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Australian shares gained more than 1 per cent on Wednesday, tracking an overnight tech-led rebound on Wall Street, while easing border restrictions due to dwindling Covid-19 cases in Queensland and New South Wales also helped boost investor sentiment.

[BENGALURU] Australian shares gained more than 1 per cent on Wednesday, tracking an overnight tech-led rebound on Wall Street, while easing border restrictions due to dwindling Covid-19 cases in Queensland and New South Wales also helped boost investor sentiment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 1.3 per cent to 5,861.70 by 0030 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.7 per cent lower on Tuesday.

Major Wall Street indexes Dow Jones Industrial Average, S&P 500 and Nasdaq all finished the previous session on a stronger note, led by a jump in Amazon following a stock upgrade to "outperform" by brokerage Bernstein.

Back home, the state of Queensland said it would open its borders to parts of neighbouring New South Wales, the country's most populous state, amid growing confidence that a second wave of infections in the country has been contained.

Market sentiment was also supported by the Reserve Bank of Australia's indication of it assessing various monetary policy options to support the country's economic recovery.

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The healthcare index was top gainer, rising as much as 1.8 per cent to its highest since Sept 3, with drugmaker CSL rising 1.5 per cent, and Healius advancing 2.6 per cent to touch its peak in more than two years.

The heavyweight financial sector climbed as much as 1.5 per cent, set for its best session since Sept 3. Almost all the components of the index were trading higher, with the "Big Four" banks up about 1 per cent each.

Energy stocks edged over 1 per cent higher, helped by a rise in oil prices.

Santos gained about 0.8 per cent, while Woodside Petroleum jumped more than 1 per cent.

The New Zealand benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose as much as 0.8 per cent to 11,709.25, on track for its best session in nearly two weeks.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) is set to keep the official cash rate (OCR) unchanged at 0.25 per cent on Wednesday for a fourth consecutive meeting, according to a Reuters poll.

REUTERS

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