February 5, 2019 / 1:18 AM / in 4 months

Australia shares gain as financials surge after Royal Commission report; NZ up

* Royal Commission final report “disappointing” - UBS

* Benchmark surges past 6,000 point level, up 1.9 pct

* Financials stocks record best day since March 2009

* NAB posts best day since 2011, ANZ since 2012

* Beleaguered fund managers IOOF and AMP among top gainers

By Rashmi Ashok

Feb 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares jumped on Tuesday, with top lenders surging to multi-month highs after the recommendations of a government-appointed inquiry into the sector were less sweeping than some forecasts, allowing banks to retain their existing structure.

Financial stocks boosted the benchmark for a second session, with the S&P/ASX 200 index rising 1.9 percent or 110.5 points to 6001.70 by 0025 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.5 percent on Monday.

Banks and wealth management stocks surged in early trade, with the financial sub-index rising as much as 4.9 percent to a more than 2-month high, on track for its best day in nearly a decade.

The gains came after the release late Monday of the final report of the Royal Commission, which had investigated systemic misconduct and wrongdoing in the sector.

“The much anticipated release of the Royal Commission Final Report was disappointing... the final recommendations fell well short of market expectations,” UBS said in a note to clients.

Describing them as “no game changer”, UBS said the “soft recommendations of the Royal Commission Final Report is a clear win for the banks.”

Fund manager IOOF Holdings was the top gainer on the benchmark, jumping over 13 percent, while AMP rose as much as 11 percent and recorded its best day in over 10-years.

The “Big Four” banks all rose more than 4 percent, with Westpac Banking Corp the top percentage gainer with a rise of more than 8 percent.

Despite being singled out for particularly scathing criticism of its top management, National Australia Bank rose as much as 5.4 percent and posted its best day since September, 2011. Many analysts had expected Commissioner Kenneth Hayne to be more stringent and force structural separation on the powerful banks, but investors were relieved that his recommendations left the structure of the big lenders in place.

Miners also boosted the benchmark after top iron ore miner Vale SA was ordered by a Brazilian state court to stop using eight tailings dams after last month’s deadly mine disaster, sparking supply concerns.

The top boost to the materials sub-index was James Hardie Industries PLC’s Australia-listed shares which rose as much as 4.3 percent after the fibre cement maker said it expects full year net operating profit to be in a higher range than that of fiscal 2018.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.37 percent or 33.49 points to 9012.90.

New Zealand-listed shares of Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group were top percentage gainers on the index, rising nearly 8 percent and 6.5 percent respectively.

Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; editing by Richard Pullin

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