* U.S. President Trump urges standalone bills for economic relief
* Melbourne reports lowest two-week average of new virus cases
* Aussie treasurer says tax cuts to come into effect in December
Oct 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Thursday, led by buying in mining and financial stocks, as risk appetite improved on hopes of a partial fiscal stimulus before the U.S. Presidential election, and as investors basked in the afterglow of the domestic budget.
The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 0.91% to 6,036.4 by 2355 GMT.
Wall Street closed sharply higher overnight as President Donald Trump urged Democrat-run Congress to pass standalone bills for further economic relief, after calling off negotiations on a comprehensive bill earlier.
Adding to the positive sentiment, coronavirus hotspot and the Australia’s second-largest city Melbourne on Wednesday reported the lowest two-week average of new cases.
The government on Tuesday announced billions in tax cuts and programmes to boost employment and infrastructure spending, measures that are set to push the budget deficit to a record A$213.7 billion ($151.73 billion) for the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said tax cuts forming the centrepiece of the country’s annual budget will not come into effect until December.
Among stocks and sectors, miners rose over 1%, with global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto up 1.9% and 1.3%, respectively.
BHP on Wednesday said it had completed shutting production and evacuating workers from the Shenzi and Neptune platforms in the U.S.-regulated northern Gulf of Mexico, ahead of Hurricane Delta.
Financial stocks were also higher, with the so-called “Big Four” banks rising between 0.4% and 1.3%.
Netwealth Group was among the top gainers in the index as the financial services provider reported an 8% increase in its funds under administration over the September quarter.
On the other hand, Ampol Ltd was among the biggest losers in the index, after the fuel supplier said it will consider closing its Lytton oil refinery in Queensland as part of a review to mitigate the hit from the virus-led slump.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.34% at 12,016.2, lifted by financial and healthcare stocks.
Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips