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Australian shares rise on U.S. stimulus bets

* Tech stocks hit record high, tracking U.S. peers

* Australia calls for clarity from China on coal curbs

* Gold stocks lead gains on ASX200 on stronger bullion

Dec 16 (Reuters) - Australian shares tracked Wall Street higher on Wednesday, on hopes for more U.S. stimulus and further signals of easy monetary policy from the Federal Reserve.

All three major Wall Street indexes jumped over 1% overnight on hopes that U.S. lawmakers will reach a quick coronavirus relief deal, amid surging U.S. COVID-19 cases.

Meanwhile, the Fed is expected to signal low-interest rates for the foreseeable future.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.1% to 6,706.8 by 0015 GMT, with all major indexes trading in positive territory.

Gold stocks rose as much as 3.1% to be the biggest gainers on the benchmark as the bullion climbed on hopes of more U.S. stimulus. Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources jumped 2.1% and 5%, respectively.

Australian tech stocks rose 2.6% to hit a record high, taking a cue from their U.S. peers. Afterpay rose 4.6% and Xero gained 2.6%.

Heavyweight miners also traded firmly in the black as iron ore prices recovered on lingering supply concerns and strong manufacturing output data from China.

However, trade tensions continued to brew as Canberra urged Beijing to clarify reports of import restrictions on Australian coal in China’s state-controlled media outlets, warning any restrictions on would be in breach of World Trade Organisation rules.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1% to 12,889.45, with financials and utilities being the biggest winners. (Reporting by Arpit Nayak in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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