* Miners gain as Chinese iron ore futures hold firm; FMG, RIO up
* Energy stocks rise more than 1% as oil prices stabilise
* AMP jumps 5% as co reiterates that CEO has not resigned
March 26 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed on Friday, lifted by miners and oil and gas explorers as commodity prices stabilised, while an overnight rebound in Wall Street on signs of economic progress also lent support. The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.5% at 6,822 by 0108 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.2% higher on Thursday.
U.S. stocks rose in a late-day rally as investors bought stocks likely to do well in the recovery and picked up beaten-down shares in anticipation that the economy grows at its fastest pace in decades this year.
S&P 500 E-minis futures rose 0.1% in early Asian trade, while Nikkei futures gave up early gains to dip 0.1%.
Local markets were being cautiously optimistic, given the strong recovery in the U.S. and Chinese markets, while they are shrugging off rising COVID-19 cases in Europe for now, Nick Twidale, chief executive officer of APAC for FP Markets, said.
“Conversely, if there is a downturn in these economies combined with the bad situation in European countries, then there may be a sharp correction,” he added.
In Australia, miners led the gains after climbing nearly 1% as Chinese iron ore futures rose amid worries of supply shortages. Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group advanced 1.5% each.
Energy stocks climbed up to 1.1% as oil prices stabilised after a sharp drop overnight. Sector heavyweight Woodside Petroleum rose 2.4% while Santos gained more than 1%.
The financial sub-index rose 0.5%, lifted by embattled wealth manager AMP Ltd, which clawed back from previous session’s losses to climb 5%. AMP shares on track for best session since Feb. 26 after the company reiterated that Francesco De Ferrari would remain as its chief executive officer.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index traded down 0.2% at 12,367.87, with retirement village operator Summerset Group leading the losses. (Reporting by Vasudha Kaukuntla in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)