January 25, 2019 / 5:34 AM / in 22 days

Australia shares rise on energy and mining; NZ nearly flat

* Aussie benchmark posts third consecutive week of gains

* Mining stocks end 4-day losing run

* AMP tumbles, expects near 97 pct drop in annual profit (Updates to close)

By Aman Swami

Jan 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Friday, capping their third straight week of gains, as higher commodity prices boosted energy and mining stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.7 percent at 5,905.600, advancing 0.4 percent for the week. The benchmark had risen 0.4 percent on Thursday.

The Australian metals and mining index snapped four sessions of losses to rise 1 percent, led by a rally in iron ore and copper prices.

The world’s biggest miner, BHP Group, closed 1.3 percent higher, while rival Rio Tinto added 1.1 percent.

Oil prices rose after turmoil in Venezuela triggered concerns that its oil exports could soon be disrupted, which boosted investor appetite for energy stocks with the sub-index gaining 1.2 percent.

Benchmark heavyweight Woodside Petroleum rose 1.3 percent, while oil and gas explorer Oil Search rallied 1.6 percent.

Bucking the trend, the country’s largest wealth manager AMP Ltd slid 7.9 percent and was the worst performer on the Aussie financial index after it flagged a near 97 percent drop in its annual profit and slashed its final dividend, owing to large remediation costs and investment risk.

“AMP has its reputation and its reputation only, throw into the mix of banking royal commission and the issues they have had and it’s a very difficult sentiment to turn around, so AMP is looking powerless today,” said James McGlew, executive director of corporate stockbroking at Argonaut.

“But the big four banks will survive that, with their banking business behind them.”

Despite AMP’s fall, financial stocks edged up 0.4 percent, with lenders Australia and New Zealand Banking Group gaining 1 percent and National Australia Bank Ltd adding 0.7 percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index eked out a marginal 1.64 point gain to finish the session at 9,110.55. It rose 0.1 percent this week.

NZX-listed shares of Westpac Banking Corp closed 1.2 percent higher Auckland International Airport Ltd jumped 1.6 percent. (Reporting by Aman Swami in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill)

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