December 1, 2016 / 5:55 AM / a year ago

Australia, NZ shares buoyed by OPEC deal on output cut

(Updates to close)

Dec 1 (Reuters) - Australian shares rallied on Thursday, powered by financials, miners and energy stocks, after oil cartel OPEC agreed to cut crude output to clear a glut.

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries on Wednesday agreed to its first output cut since 2008, finally taking action having seen global oil prices tumble by more than half in the last two years. Non-OPEC Russia will also join output cuts for the first time in 15 years.

The S&P/ASX 200 index snapped three sessions of losses to jump 59.73 points, or 1.1 percent, to 5,500.2 by the close of trade.

The energy index soared as much as 7.4 percent, recording its biggest intra-day percentage gain in eight years. Oil major Santos ended up 11.7 percent, while Beach Energy jumped as much as 14.4 percent to touch a 15-month high.

Global miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto climbed 4.9 percent and 1.7 percent respectively.

The benchmark financial index extended its strong run, with the “Big Four” banks ending about 1 percent firmer. The sector got a boost from a solid showing in U.S. peers.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged up 0.5 percent, or 35.79 points, to finish the session at 6,932.74.

The biggest gainer was a2 Milk Company, rising 4.9 percent to hit a 9-month high. (Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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