Australia and NZ shares rise on gains in oil, metals

Sept 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares gained on Thursday, driven by materials and energy shares moving in line with global oil prices and iron ore futures in China.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 52.25 points or 0.97 percent to 5,464.6 by 0311 GMT.

Oil prices climbed nearly 6 percent on Wednesday after the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries struck a deal to curb crude output at its policy meeting in November, its first agreement since 2008 to cut production.

OPEC decided at its meeting in Algiers to limit its production to a range of 32.5-33.0 million barrels per day (bpd).

Following the news, Brent crude settled up $2.72, or 5.9 percent, at $48.69 a barrel, hitting a more than two-week high of $48.96 on Wednesday, and extended gains into Asian trading on Thursday.

“The Australian market has certainly had its tone set by the big move in oil prices overnight with the OPEC announcement, and we have seen our markets respond positively,” said James McGlew, executive director of corporate stockbroking at Argonaut.

Oil company Beach Energy Ltd surged 11.3 percent, recording its biggest intraday gain since February.

Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search Ltd jumped about 7 percent each, and along with Beach Energy, lifted the energy index to its highest in around a year.

Iron ore futures’ 2 percent climb in China on Wednesday boosted mining giants BHP Billiton, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group.

BHP Billiton hit its highest in 10 months, up 3.97 percent, while Rio Tinto rose 2.82 percent to hit a four-month high.

The S&P/ASX 300 Metals Index surged to its highest in 15 months at 2,719.8 points, also supported by uptrends in LME copper, zinc, and aluminium.

Nickel miners Independence Group NL, Western Areas Ltd, and Kibaran Resources Ltd rose as they tracked increases in nickel prices on the London Metal Exchange and Shanghai, supported by supply risk after the Philippines said on Tuesday it may suspend 20 more mines for environmental infractions.

The Philippines, which accounts for nearly a quarter of the world’s mined nickel supply, has already stopped production at 10 mines, eight of them nickel producers.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index nudged up 0.6 percent or 46.61 points to 7,337.06, buoyed by industrial stocks.

Auckland International Airport gained 2.3 percent, and was the biggest percentage gainer.

The energy sector was cheered by gains in oil companies Z Energy Ltd and New Zealand Refining Company Ltd , that rose around 1 percent each.

New Zealand’s financial sector remained subdued following statements from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand noting concerns about New Zealand’s housing market, where it said house prices had increased by 15 percent nationwide over the past year.

The central bank said on Thursday that it remained vigilant over financial stability risks from imbalances in the housing market.

For more individual stocks activity click on (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Anusha Ravindranath; Editing by Eric Meijer)