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Company News

Australian shares rise as U.S. election results roll in

* Australian shares touch highest level since Oct. 27

* Healthcare stocks lead gains on main index

* Treasury Wines shares slump on China tariff woes

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares tracked Wall Street’s gains to hit a more than one-week high on Thursday as investors hoped a Joe Biden presidency and a divided Congress would make the Democratic agenda of tough financial regulations unlikely, boosting stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.8% to 6,111.9 by 0027 GMT.

“There’s potential for more volatility ahead with the elections, but if the Democrats are not going to get the Senate, then it may be more positive for markets with some of the plans they were coming with,” said IC Markets General Manager Nick Twidale.

U.S. stocks surged overnight as President Donald Trump’s win in the major battleground state of Florida led investors to believe a Democratic Party-led Congress was not on the cards even if Joe Biden wins the presidency.

The Australian healthcare index gained 2.8% and was the biggest boost to the benchmark. Domestic healthcare firms rely heavily on exports to the United States and benefit from a weakness in the Australian dollar.

Heavyweight CSL Ltd climbed 2.7% to a more than two-week high, while ASX-listed shares of California-based ResMed added 2.3%.

Elsewhere, Treasury Wine Estates tumbled 7.4% after the world’s largest listed winemaker disclosed on Wednesday that a Chinese drinks group requested tariffs on Australian wine.

National Australia Bank rose 1.2% despite posting a slide in annual profit as analysts cheered a better margin performance than peers and strong common equity Tier 1 position.

The local mining index fell 0.6% after Chinese iron ore futures slid 1.2%, while technology stocks jumped 1.7%, tracking the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite’s solid finish overnight.

Poultry producer Inghams Group Ltd jumped 12.3% and was the top gainer on the benchmark.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index gained 0.6% to 12,267.1 and was set for a third straight day of gains. (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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