February 7, 2018 / 5:55 AM / 8 months ago

Australia shares rebound, led by materials; NZ falls to 2-month low

* Aussie shares rebound after global rout

* Benchmark index pares early gains but ends up 0.8 percent

* Materials lead gains on higher iron ore and copper prices

* NZ shares fall to 2-month low (Updates to close)

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares rebounded on Wednesday from their biggest one-day drubbing in roughly 2-1/2 years, as global markets tried to regain their footing after several days of heavy selling.

Broad-based buying helped the S&P/ASX 200 index end up 0.8 percent, or 43.500 points, at 5,876.800, though it had been up as much as 1.8 percent at one point in early trade.

The benchmark slumped 3.2 percent on Tuesday.

U.S. stocks rebounded 2 percent overnight, but are still expected to show increased volatility in coming days.

Materials shares led gains in Australia, underpinned by stronger iron ore and copper prices. The metals and mining index climbed 1.9 percent, its biggest percentage gain in nearly four weeks.

Global miners BHP and Rio Tinto Ltd climbed 1.8 percent and 3.8 percent, respectively, accounting for most of the gains on the benchmark.

Rio Tinto is scheduled to release its 2017 financial results later in the day. The miner is expected to report a 70 percent rise in its underlying net profit after tax for the year, UBS said in a research note.

Industrials also gained, with toll road developer Transurban Group adding 1.9 percent, while airport operator Sydney Airport Holdings Pty Ltd rose 1.2 percent.

Financials closed marginally lower, hurt by a fall in Commonwealth Bank of Australia which reported a decline in first-half cash profit, missing analysts’ expectations.

CBA booked an A$575 million ($454 million) charge for regulatory costs including a money-laundering lawsuit.

Meanwhile, Australia gave its financial regulator sweeping powers to cap bank bosses’ pays, delay their bonuses and even ban them from the industry if found guilty of non-compliance, as authorities scramble to restore trust in the scandal-hit sector.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index declined 0.6 percent or 47.100 points to 8,194.730, its lowest since December 2017.

Industrials and consumer staples accounted for most of the losses, with Auckland International Airport Ltd falling 2.1 percent and a2 Milk Company Ltd declining 1.9 percent.

Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

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