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Company News

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

* Financial index set for best session since Sept 3

* Higher oil prices lift energy stocks

* RBNZ cash rate decision later in the day

Sept 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares gained more than 1% 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% to 5,861.70 by 0030 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.7% 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.

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

The heavyweight financial sector climbed as much as 1.5%, 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% each.

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

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

The New Zealand benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose as much as 0.8% 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% on Wednesday for a fourth consecutive meeting, according to a Reuters poll. (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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