January 23, 2018 / 5:51 AM / 6 months ago

Australia shares end losing streak, financials lead; telcos drag NZ

* Australian index up 0.8 pct, snaps 5-session losing streak

* Banks lead gains on AXJO, ANZ finishes at near 2-week high

* NZ down 0.3 pct; telecoms, energy stocks lead fall (Updates to close)

Jan 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended higher on Tuesday, snapping a five-session losing streak as they rode Wall Street’s cheer after U.S. senators struck a deal to end a three-day government shutdown.

Wall Street’s main indexes climbed to record highs after U.S. lawmakers passed a short-term measure on Monday to fund the federal government through Feb. 8.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 45.1 points to close at 6,037. The benchmark fell 0.2 percent on Monday, slipping below the 6,000 level for the first time this year.

Financial stocks led the comeback, with the “Big Four” banks rising in a range of 0.5 percent to 1.5 percent.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd gained 1.5 percent to settle at its best level since January 11.

Australian shares of respiratory device maker ResMed Inc were among the top boosters of the index, gaining 8.4 percent to a record close after it said second-quarter revenue rose 13 percent.

Upbeat oil prices propped up energy stocks, with Woodside Petroleum Ltd and Origin Energy rallying 1.3 percent and 3.1 percent, respectively.

Shares of Treasury Wine Estates Ltd, the world’s biggest standalone winemaker, rose 4 percent to close at an all-time high. Industry figures showed Australia’s annual wine exports to its No.1 export market China jumped 63 percent by value in 2017.

For QBE Insurance Group, Australia’s biggest insurer, it was a rather tough session. Its stock fell as much as 6 percent to its weakest since early October after it flagged a full-year after-tax loss of about $1.2 billion, hurt by impairment charges in its North American operations.

The insurer looked in less dire shape at the close as the stock pared most of the losses to be 0.6 percent lower.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3 percent or 27.73 points to finish the session at 8,307.63.

Telecom stock Spark New Zealand Ltd suffered its biggest drop in four months, down 2.5 percent, while Chorus Ltd closed 1.5 percent at a seven-week low.

Fuel supplier Z Energy dropped 2.3 percent to close at its weakest since mid-November after it cut its earnings guidance for fiscal 2018 due to unexpected disruptions of fuel supply in December and a sustained rise in crude oil prices. (Reporting by Chris Thomas in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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