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Australia shares climb on gold, healthcare boost; banks weigh

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Australia shares climbed on Monday, supported by gold and healthcare stocks, though gains were capped by a laggard performance in the financials sub-index as investors latched on to concerns over broadening inflationary risks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up at 0.3% at 7468.00 points, as of 1150 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.8% higher on Friday.

Risk appetite got a lift after Australian officials said the country will likely start administering COVID-19 vaccines for children under the age of 12 in January.

Healthcare stocks jumped as much as 1%, with top gainer Resmed Inc adding 5.7% to scale its highest level in more than two weeks while biotech major CSL Ltd rose up to 0.5%.

Gold stocks led gains on the benchmark by adding 1.4% as bullion prices over the weekend logged their best week since May with inflationary fears lifting the metal’s safe-haven appeal.

Miner Pantoro Ltd was the best performer in the sub-index, logging a 19.7% gain to eye its best day in more than 18 months.

The mining sub-index was up about 0.9%, on track for its third straight session of gains, with index heavyweight Rio Tinto adding 0.7%.

Tech stocks also jumped 0.6% on the back of an upbeat close at Wall Street on Friday night.

Financials were the only dull spot, capping gains on the benchmark by losing 0.5%, with three of the “Big Four” banks trading in the red.

Australia’s Link Administration gained 1.1% after it granted due diligence information to Carlyle Group under its new A$2.81 billion ($2.06 billion) takeover offer.

Explosives and fertiliser maker Incitec Pivot Ltd jumped 17.6% to mark its best day since November 2006 after posting a strong annual net profit.

Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.5% at 12,968.160 points, with dairy firm A2 Milk Company Ltd leading the gains.

Elsewhere, the S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.2%.

$1 = 1.3643 Australian dollars Reporting by Yamini C S; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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