June 14, 2019 / 6:54 AM / 3 months ago

Australian shares edge up on boost from miners, energy firms; NZ steady

* Mining index posts 6.2% weekly gain

* Gold stocks up nearly 4% to over 7-yr peak

* AMP down 5.8% on regulatory action (Updates to close)

June 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares ticked up on Friday as rising commodity prices boosted miners, while attacks on oil tankers in the Gulf of Oman saw energy stocks gain on supply concerns.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.2% or 11.6 points to 6,554.0, and is up 1.7% for the week.

Iron ore prices surged to a record high buoyed by expectations of tight supply and restrained demand amid prospects of further policy support by top metals consumer China - Australia’s biggest trading partner.

Chinese Vice Premier Liu He on Thursday urged the country’s regulators to step up support for the economy and keep ample liquidity in the market, suggesting more policies would be unveiled soon.

Mining stocks climbed 2.7% to a more than seven-and-a-half year closing high. The index clocked a 6.2% weekly gain, its best week since early February.

Global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto advanced 1.9% and 3.4%, respectively, while Fortescue Metals Group gained 5.4%.

Gold stocks ended up 3.9% to a more than seven-year peak as prices of the safe-haven metal surged due to trade and political turmoil, along with hopes for U.S. interest rate cuts in coming months.

Newcrest Mining rallied 3% and Northern Star Resources surged 5.6%.

Oil prices extended sharp gains for a second day after an attack on two oil tankers near Iran and the Straight of Hormuz fanned concerns of reduced crude supply.

Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search Ltd advanced 1.9% and 1.5%, respectively, lifting the energy index .

Financials went south, declining 0.8% as investors priced in further rate cuts by the Reserve Bank of Australia following soft domestic economic data.

If the central bank cuts interest rates lenders would be required to pass on the cuts to customers, which could in turn hurt the banks’ profit margins.

The ‘Big Four’ banks lost between 0.7% and 1%, with top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia down 0.8%.

Wealth managers also weighed on the index after the country’s banking regulator imposed stricter licensing conditions on AMP Ltd’s pension fund unit over concerns regarding its compliance with superannuation laws.

AMP fell 5.8% and was among the worst performers on the Australian benchmark.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index inched up 0.1% percent or 11.56 points to 10,235.37.

Dairy products maker a2 Milk Company jumped 1% and Auckland International Airport rose 0.2%

Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam

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