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Australia shares rise as inflation worries ease, travel stocks surge

* Travel stocks jump on news of support package

* Gold stocks hit 10-day high

March 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares tracked global markets higher on Thursday, as inflation concerns eased after a report on U.S. consumer prices, while domestic travel stocks surged on expectations of a government package to support the sector.

A U.S. Congressional approval to a $1.9-trillion COVID-19 relief package also aided sentiment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index gained 0.2% to 6,731.1 by 2304 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.8% lower on Wednesday.

Travel-related stocks surged as Prime Minister Scott Morrison is set to announce a A$1.20 billion ($927.8 million) package which includes subsidised domestic flights, financial support to its two main airlines and cheap loans to small tourism operators.

Flight Centre Travel Group jumped 10.9%, Webjet rose 6% and Qantas added 3.2%.

Elsewhere, the U.S. Labour Department said its consumer price index (CPI) rose 0.4% in February, in line with expectations, while core CPI edged up 0.1%.

That helped the Dow Jones Industrial Average hit a record high. The S&P 500 gained 0.60% overnight, while Nasdaq ended roughly flat.

Back home, Australian financial stocks rose 0.4%, led by Janus Henderson Group, up 2.4%, while Insurance Australia Group advanced 1.3%.

A sub-index of gold stocks added 0.5% after bullion prices hit a one-week high. Top performers were Chalice Mining and De Grey Mining, rising 3.7% and 3.4%, respectively.

Energy stocks rose 0.2%, with Beach Energy and Ampol gaining 1.8% and 1.2%, respectively.

Oil prices rose on Wednesday after an upbeat forecast for global economic recovery and lower U.S. gasoline inventories.

Mining stocks fell 0.4%, however, weighed down by BHP Group and Capricorn Metals.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.5% at 12,315.46.

The top percentage gainers on the index were Air New Zealand and Arvida Group, which rose 2.4% each. ($1 = 1.2933 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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