November 21, 2017 / 6:01 AM / a year ago

Australia shares lifted by financial and material stocks; NZ down

    Nov 21 (Reuters) - Aussie shares edged up on Tuesday, helped
by financial stocks and by resources shares, which were buoyed
by a further jump in Chinese steel futures prices.
    The S&P/ASX 200 index         rose 0.3 percent or 17.829
points to 5,963.500. The benchmark fell 0.2 percent on Monday.
    The Australian financial index         rose 0.2 percent with
Macquarie Group          leading the gains, rising 1.06 percent.
Australia’s second largest lender Westpac Banking Corp         
rose 0.3 percent.
    The Reserve Bank of Australia released minutes of its
November meeting which showed policymakers warned of
"considerable uncertainty" about how quickly wages growth and
inflation might pick up, thereby leaving the interest rates at
record lows for more than a year.             
    The metals and mining index         rose 0.3 percent, with
0.4 percent gains for both BHP          and Rio Tinto Ltd.
    Chinese iron ore futures           continued rising on
Tuesday, gaining 1.3 percent, despite stockpiles of the
steelmaking commodity continuing to rise in China.           
    BHP shares were also helped after it and Vale SA           
announced a 150-day extension authorized by a Brazilian court to
negotiate a settlement of a $48 billion claim stemming from the
Samarco mine disaster in 2015.             
    New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index         slipped
0.02 percent or 10.32 points to 8,088.48.
    Health care stocks weighed as Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
         plunged 4.5 percent, dragging the index to its first
loss in three sessions, despite posting a 4 percent and 8
percent rise in half-year profit and revenue, respectively. 
    But consumer staples offset some of the losses as dairy farm
operator A2 Milk          jumped 5.4 percent to a more than
2-1/2 week high after it reported a 137.7 percent rise in its
netprofit after tax in the four months to October.             
    Rival Fonterra Co-Operative Group Ltd          rose 0.5
percent after it said its milk production in New Zealand rose 3
percent during the peak production month of October due to the
return of favourable weather after a wet spring.             

 (Reporting by Syed Saif Hussain Naqvi in Bengaluru; Editing by
Kim Coghill)
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