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Australian shares gain for fifth session; NZ eyes c.bank decision

* Energy index hits highest since Aug. 20

* CBA gains despite drop in Q1 profit

* NZ c.bank to hold cash rate, leave QE untouched - Reuters poll

Nov 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose for a fifth straight session on Wednesday following gains in financial and energy stocks, while New Zealand stocks inched up ahead of the outcome of the central bank’s meeting due later in the day.

The Australian benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.3% to 6,340.5 by 2330 GMT.

Shares of travel-related companies and airlines extended gains on a swifter-than-expected economic recovery hopes. Qantas Airways, Sydney Airport Holdings and Webjet Ltd climbed.

“Investors anticipate a lift in economic activity and a swing back to physical businesses, judging by their support for travel, consumer, financial, materials and energy stocks”, said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets and Stockbroking.

The energy index jumped more than 3%, hitting its highest since Aug. 20 after crude gained overnight.

Australia’s top independent gas producer Woodside Petroleum rose after it reaffirmed that its Scarborough and Pluto Train 2 liquefied natural gas project is on track for a final investment decision in the second half of 2021.

Rising more than 2%, financial stocks hit an eight- month high. The country’s largest bank Commonwealth Bank of Australia climbed as much as 2.8%, even as its first-quarter cash profit fell 16%.

Miners jumped over 1% on higher iron ore prices. Mining giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto gained nearly 2% each.

Gold stocks, however, slipped 2.3%, with heavyweights Evolution Mining and Newcrest Mining trading lower.

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 rose 0.3% to 12,653.1 ahead of a central bank meeting, where it is seen holding the official cash rate at 0.25% and leave the quantitative easing programme untouched, as per a Reuters poll.

Satellite television and media streaming firm SKY Network Television Ltd was the top percentage gainer on the benchmark after raising its fiscal 2021 revenue and profit forecast. (Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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