October 11, 2019 / 1:16 AM / 7 days ago

Australia, NZ shares rise on hopes of partial Sino-U.S. trade deal

* ASX 200 set for best week since late-Aug

* Mining stocks biggest boost to benchmark

* Gold stocks decline amid risk-on sentiment

By Ambar Warrick

Oct 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Friday as hopes for at least a partial Sino-U.S. trade deal were bolstered by positive comments from both sides, with markets now focusing on a final meeting between officials later in the day.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7% or 47.5 points to 6,594.60 by 0040 GMT, and was set to add 1.2% for the week.

U.S. President Donald Trump told reporters that negotiations on Thursday were “very, very good,” while Chinese news agency Xinhua reported that Beijing was willing to reach an agreement to avoid further escalation.

The news soothed investor nerves, with markets having navigated a volatile week amid contrasting headlines about the U.S.-China trade negotiations.

Most sectors on the ASX 200 gained, with resource stocks doing most of the heavy lifting.

The mining subindex was up about 1.2%, with heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto adding more than 2% each.

“The U.S. dollar index has pulled back a bit overnight. A lower dollar is better for commodities, and in that context we’ve seen a bit of a bounce,” said Mathan Somasundaram, market portfolio strategist at Blue Ocean Equities.

“The longer term picture- global growth worries- being that it’s likely to weigh on commodities, so I’m not overly positive.”

The mining subindex saw its best session in nearly one month. Slowing economic growth in the face of a drawn-out Sino-U.S. trade war is expected to bite demand for commodities, particularly growth-oriented resources such as iron ore, copper, and oil.

Markets also awaited quarterly production reports from major Australian miners next week.

Financial stocks rose about 0.7%, with the “big four” banks adding between 0.6% and 1.2%. The subindex was set to gain about 0.8% for the week.

IOOF Holdings rose about 0.8% after it sold its stake in domestic fund manager Perennial Value Management to focus on its core wealth management business.

Energy stocks rose more than 1%, tracking gains in oil prices after comments from the OPEC inspired some hope for supply cuts in 2020.

On the other hand, gold stocks declined more than 1%, as bullion prices fell amid broader moves into risk assets.

New Zealand stocks rose amid broad-based gains, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rising 0.4% or 42.42 points to 10,929.15.

The New Zealand benchmark was set to add about 0.3% for the week.

Flag carrier Air New Zealand rose about 0.5% after it named Walmart executive Greg Foran as its next chief executive officer.

Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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