(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Aug 12 (Reuters) - Australian shares surged 1.3 percent on Tuesday, thanks to Wall Street’s rise, reduced tensions over Ukraine and an improvement in local business confidence.
The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 73.3 points to close at 5,530.3. Tuesday’s percentage gain was the biggest since July 2. The benchmark added 0.4 percent on Monday, snapping six days of losses.
A measure of Australian business conditions hit the highest in four years in July, as firms reported a sharp pick-up in sales and profitability.
New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.1 percent or 6.2 points to 5,055.8.
Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Borsuk