October 8, 2019 / 6:14 AM / 8 days ago

REFILE-Australian shares end higher on energy stocks, miners

(Corrects first paragraph to say ‘Tuesday,’ not ‘Thursday’)

Oct 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended higher on Tuesday, as miners and energy stocks rose on the back of higher commodities and oil prices ahead of renewed efforts this week to resolve the U.S.-China trade conflict.

The S&P/ASX 200 index firmed about 0.5% to close the day’s trading at 6,593.40, extending gains into a third consecutive session.

High-level negotiations between Washington and Beijing are due to begin on Thursday, though chances of a resolution appear low after President Donald Trump said a quick trade deal was unlikely.

“I think it’s a common word - ‘hopium’ - there’s a lot of hope that we do see something. However, if you look at it realistically, there’s really not a lot that I can see that would motivate China to getting a major deal done,” said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking.

“The reality is, because of decades of U.S. manufacturing being hollowed out and outsourced, they’re now in the dire position of renegotiating a trade deal with not a lot to offer.”

Gains on the Australian bourse were led by energy stocks , which had their best day in almost two weeks.

Oil and gas explorer Santos Ltd rose more than 2% after it flagged “extremely positive” oil flows at a field in Western Australia.

Mining stocks advanced, with index heavyweights Rio Tinto and BHP Group closing 1.1% and 0.7% higher, underpinned by a jump in iron ore prices.

Financial stocks firmed about 0.4%, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia Ltd, the country’s biggest lender, finishing the session up 0.9%.

Shares of Australia and New Zealand Banking Group followed the broader trend, closing 0.4% higher, even as the lender flagged a A$559 million ($376 million) hit to its second-half profit from increased provisions for customer-related remediation.

However, gold stocks retreated 0.8%, tracking a decline in bullion prices as investors moved back into risk assets.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 11,016.15, closing higher for a third consecutive session.

Fonterra , the world’s largest dairy producer, finished 1.3% higher after it named Mercury NZ’s CEO Fraser Whineray to the newly-created role of chief operating officer following last month’s strategy revamp announcement. (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil and Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)

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