Gold, material stocks drive Australian shares higher; NZ up

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* Graincorp biggest pct gainer on the benchmark

* CSL Ltd climbs to a record high

* Tech stocks set to post their seventh straight gain

By Shreya Mariam Job

Nov 15 (Reuters) – Australian shares rose on Friday after a record Wall Street close while the gold mining sector also provided some support as investors sought the safe-haven allure of the precious metal amid uncertainty about a Sino-U.S. trade resolution.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5%, or 36.4 points, to 6,771.50 by 0100 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.6% on Thursday.

“The markets are certainly in a ‘buy the dip’ mentality now than more of a ‘sell the rally’,” said Nick Twidale, director & co-founder at Xchainge.

“When there’s no fresh sentiment drivers the market will grind higher to the topside,” Twidale added noting a change in the market sentiment over the past couple of weeks.

Sentiment was also buoyed by upbeat comments from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow who said United States is getting close to a trade agreement with China.

Gold stocks rallied 1.2%, buoyed by a 5.1% rise in Dacian Gold and a 2.7% rise in Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd .

Spot gold prices had risen overnight to $1,472.66 per ounce amid doubts about a trade deal between China and the United States.

Gold stocks also lifted the Aussie mining sub-index which rose 1.1%.

The heavyweight miners also saw an uptick with BHP Group Ltd rising 1.3% and Rio Tinto Ltd gaining 0.6%.

Meanwhile, Graincorp was the biggest percentage gainer on the benchmark, rising 7.5% after Australia’s competition regulator gave the green light to the takeover of the company’s domestic bulk liquids terminals business by ANZ Terminals. The regulatory obstacles had kept the deal on hold delaying Graincorp’s restructuring efforts.

The government also approved China Mengniu Dairy Co’s A$1.43 billion ($980.27 million) takeover of infant formula maker Bellamy’s Australia Ltd, sending it to an over one year high.

Tech stocks maintained their winning streak for a seventh consecutive session rising as much as 1%.

These are the preferred stocks chosen to beef up investor portfolios in a bullish market, Twidale said, as seen in the 10% boost to the sub-sector from its current rally, as of last close.

Shares of Appen rose 1.5% and those Link Administration Holdings gained 4.3%.

Healthcare stocks extended gains to rise 0.8% with biotherapeutics company CSL at a record high, gaining as much 1.1%.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5% or 58.94 points to 10,958.19.

Shares of Ryman Healthcare Ltd and Infratil Ltd were the top percentage gainers on the bourse logging 3.1% and a 2.7% gains, respectively. (Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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