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Australia shares jump 2% on jobs stimulus, Trump's health progress

* Aussie government announces wage subsidies of over A$1 bln

* Reserve Bank of Australia set for policy meet on Tuesday

* Victoria state set to further ease virus-led restrictions

Oct 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose more than 2% on Monday after the government announced plans to earmark additional wage subsidies to help spur employment, and as investors continued to hope for a swifter recovery of U.S. President Donald Trump.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 2.3% at 5,926.2, as of 0017 GMT. The index is down 13.4% so far this year.

Doctors treating President Donald Trump for COVID-19 sent conflicting signals about the severity of his condition on Sunday, hours before the president surprised supporters gathered outside the hospital with an impromptu motorcade.

Back home, the Australian government said it will earmark an additional A$1.2 bln ($860.16 mln) in wage subsidies in the federal budget, on the assumption of a coronavirus vaccine next year.

Adding to the positive sentiment, authorities in virus hotspot Victoria said they were on track to further ease social distancing restrictions in the coming weeks, though the state reported an uptick in new cases.

Market participants also kept an eye out for the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monthly policy meeting on Tuesday, though a Reuters poll showed the central bank will likely hold key rates.

Among sectors, energy stocks jumped 3.4% alongside oil prices ambling up. Brent crude futures rose 0.25%, while U.S. West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude gained 0.51%.

Financials also surged about 3%, with the so-called “Big Four” banks gaining in the range of between 2.7% and 3.9%.

Heavyweight mining stocks climbed 1.7%, with global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto rising 1.9% and 1.7%, respectively.

The top percentage gainer in the was CIMIC Group Ltd after the engineering services group climbed 5.2%.

The number of issues on the ASX that advanced was 857, while 291 declined.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was marginally lower at 11,817.79, weighed by losses among tech, industrial and consumer stocks.

($1 = 1.3951 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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