* ASX200 posts first weekly loss in six
* Newcrest Mining marks best session in two weeks
* Rio Tinto marks best week since early May
June 25 (Reuters) - Australian stocks rose on Friday, led by
banks and mining stocks, after U.S. President Joe Biden
embracing a bipartisan Senate infrastructure deal raised hopes
of a recovery in the world's largest economy.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.5% higher at
7,308.0, but notched its first weekly loss in six as surging
COVID-19 cases in the country's most populous state, New South
Wales kept markets on edge through the week.
Global stocks rallied and Wall Street set record highs
overnight after Biden declared "We have a deal" to renew the
infrastructure of the United States.
"The infrastructure announcement means there will be a while
lot of cash injection into the system. It means, there will be a
strong demand for materials, and that will definitely benefit
the Australian market," said Brad Smoling, managing director at
Domestically, miners rose 1% as ironore prices
gained, with BHP Group Ltd and Fortescue Metals Group
rising 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively.
Global miner Rio Tinto Ltd recorded a 1.4% weekly
gain, marking its best week since early May.
Gold stocks also rose as bullion prices steadied,
with Newcrest Mining gaining 1.6% and marking its best
session since June 11.
Financials rose 0.6%, boosted by the the so-called
"Big Four" banks.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia and New
Zealand Banking Group, National Australia Bank
and Westpac Banking Corp rose between 0.2% and 0.9%.
Hurt by the surging virus cases, travel stocks such as
Flight Centre Travel Group and Webjet Ltd
posted weekly losses of 6.5% and 4.5%, respectively.
Downtown Sydney and the city's eastern suburbs, which
include Bondi Beach, will go into a one week lockdown from
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended
0.3% higher at 12,626.09. Dairy producer a2 Milk closed
up 2.9% and was the top gainer on the bourse.
(Reporting by Yamini C S and Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru;
Editing by Amy Caren Daniel)