(Fixes formating error)
* Cochlear jumps 7.9 pct, announces new implant
* Energy stocks fall 1.6 pct, snap 3 straight sessions of gains
* BHP Group quarterly output results due on Wednesday
April 16 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed on Tuesday as Rio Tinto rose on expectations of higher iron ore prices owing to a tighter market, despite reporting a 14 percent fall in quarterly shipments.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.4 percent, or 26.0 points, to 6,277.40, having ended flat Monday.
Rio, the world’s second largest iron ore miner, gained 0.5 percent even as it cut its 2019 shipments estimate after a tropical cyclone hit quarterly shipments.
Supply disruptions in Australia and elsewhere have resulted in prices of the steelmaking material surging to multi-year highs, boosting shares of miners.
However, peers BHP Group Ltd and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd retreated 0.4 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, ahead of their quarterly production reports this week.
Financial stocks rose 0.8 percent, extending gains for a third straight session and hitting a 1-month closing high.
The ‘Big Four’ banks climbed between 0.6 percent and 1.3 percent, with No. 1 lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia advancing 0.7 percent.
The healthcare index advanced 1.3 percent, supported by a 7.9 percent jump by bionic ear maker Cochlear Ltd.
Cochlear on Tuesday announced a new implant which will be commercially available in Germany and other European countries in the coming months.
Shares of export-oriented biopharma firm CSL Ltd also ended up 0.6 percent as the Australian dollar slipped after policymakers talked of easing.
Australia’s central bank believes a cut in interest rates would be “appropriate” should inflation stay low and unemployment trend higher, though there was no strong case for a move in the near term.
On the other hand, energy stocks snapped three consecutive sessions of gains to decline 1.6 percent as oil prices slipped on oversupply woes.
Oil & gas explorer Woodside Petroleum Ltd fell 0.9 percent, while Oil Search Ltd lost 0.4 percent.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended up 0.6 percent, or 62.04 points, to 9,908.39. The index rose for a fourth straight session.
Dairy products maker a2 Milk Company Ltd climbed 3.6 percent and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd added 1.4 percent.
Restaurant Brands New Zealand Ltd was the worst performer on the index, falling 5 percent after its full year net profit missed the firm’s forecast.
Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam