June 4, 2020 / 1:45 AM / a month ago

Australian shares rise on fresh stimulus, hopes of economic recovery

June 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Thursday, propped up by financial stocks as fresh stimulus measures and hopes of a global economic recovery as coronavirus-led curbs ease across the world lifted investor sentiment.

In efforts to revive the construction sector following the heavy blow from the pandemic, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said that Australia will give eligible residents A$25,000 ($17,323) to build or significantly renovate their homes.

Meanwhile, optimism over a global economic rebound has spurred a rally among risk assets and pushed major stock market indexes to within reach of pre-pandemic, all-time highs.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.3% to 6,020.6 points by 0109 GMT. The index is off 16.3% from its lifetime high on Feb. 20.

Financial stocks rose 2% led by Credit Corp Group Ltd, up 5.5%, followed by Bendigo and Adelaide Bank Ltd , gaining 3.8%.

Meanwhile, the “Big Four” banks gained between a range of 2.8% and 3.3%.

The country’s second-largest lender Westpac Banking Corp unveiled on Thursday its findings regarding the breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws. Shares of the company were up 3%.

Energy stocks firmed 0.7% with Cooper Energy Ltd , up 2.3% and Viva Energy Group Ltd, gaining 1.7​%.

Technology stocks rose 1.13% led by Iress Ltd , up 4.1%, followed by TechnologyOne Ltd, gaining 2.7%.

Meanwhile, gold stocks traded in the red with a 3.6% decline. Shares of Northern Star Resources Ltd, were down 7%, while those of West African Resources Ltd, lost 5.8%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.2% to 11,253.3.

The top percentage gainers on the New Zealand benchmark were Tourism Holdings Ltd, up 14.3%, followed by New Zealand Refining Company Ltd, gaining 11.3%.

Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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