December 10, 2012 / 11:28 PM / 5 years ago

Australia shares edge up to 7-week high, miners firm

(Updates with opening levels)

MELBOURNE, Dec 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed 0.3 percent to a seven-week high in early Tuesday trade, boosted by higher prices for base metals, gold and oil as well as hopes of fresh economic stimulus from the U.S. Federal Reserve this week.

The resource sector led gains, with top miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto advancing 1.2 percent and 1.5 percent respectively.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 13.2 points to 3,571.1 at 2313 GMT, its highest intraday level since Oct. 19. The benchmark rose 0.1 percent on Monday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 3.7 points to 4,027. (Reporting by Victoria Thieberger; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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