(Corrects to remove extraneous letters at start of first
* Tourism, leisure stocks lead rally in Australia, NZ
* Energy stocks jump after oil prices soar over 8%
* Gold stocks plunge as investors dump safe-haven assets
Nov 10 (Reuters) - Stock markets in Australia and New
Zealand jumped more than 2% on Tuesday, joining a global rally
in equities overnight as investor risk appetite was boosted by
promising developments toward a coronavirus vaccine.
The Australian benchmark index hit its highest level
since March 5, led by gains for travel, leisure and energy
firms, while gold-related stocks plunged as investors dumped the
safe-haven bullion in favour of riskier assets.
Global markets rallied sharply, with Wall Street's main
indexes hitting record highs, after U.S. drugmaker Pfizer
and its German partner BioNTech said data from
a large-scale trial of their vaccine showed it was more than 90%
effective in preventing COVID-19.
"Even with widespread distribution still months away the
announcement effect will provide a consumer and business
sentiment boost to be sure," RBC Capital Markets analysts said
in a note.
"Whether people want to call that a 'V' recovery or not is,
at this point, inconsequential it is materially faster than
most anyone appreciated," they said.
Travel firms Flight Centre Travel Group, Sydney
Airport Holdings and Qantas Airways Ltd soared
more than 10% each on the news.
Energy stocks, which have been among the worst
affected by the coronavirus-related hit to demand, climbed over
8% as crude prices surged.
Australia's top independent gas producer Woodside Petroleum
Ltd gained 8% while Papua New Guinea-focused Oil Search
Real estate firms Scentre Group, GPT Group
and Dexus gained between 8% and 15%.
Gold stocks, however, slumped more than 7% in their
worst session since May 27, following a steep fall in bullion
Miners Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd, Northern Star
Resources Ltd and Evolution Mining were among
the top percentage losers on the benchmark.
Tech shares fell 4%, dragged lower by a 6% decline
in buy-now-pay-later heavyweight Afterpay Ltd, which
has soared so far this year due to increased online payment
transactions during the pandemic.
Glove maker Ansell Ltd, which had benefited from a
steep hike in demand this year, was on track for its worst day
since March 31.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
as much as 2.2% to hit a fresh peak.
Vista Group International, which develops software
for the film industry, soared 20%, while carrier Air New Zealand
(Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; editing by Richard