* Aussie benchmark hits highest since Mar. 6
* Mining stocks jump nearly 3%, lead gains
* New Zealand benchmark hits record high
Nov 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed more than 1% on
Monday reaching their highest level since March, as Joe Biden's
victory in the U.S. presidential race buoyed risk sentiment and
weakness in the U.S. dollar lifted miners.
Biden's victory in the battleground state of Pennsylvania
put him over the threshold of 270 Electoral College votes he
needed to clinch the U.S. presidency on Saturday.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1.6% to 6291.8 points in
early trade on Monday as investors welcomed Biden's win.
"Trading this morning has a risk-on flavour, reflecting
increasing confidence that Joe Biden will occupy the White
House, but the Republican Party will retain control of the
Senate", said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC
Markets and Stockbroking.
"The outcome is ideal from a market point of view. Neither
party controls the Congress, so both trade wars and higher taxes
are largely off the agenda", added McCarthy.
Mining stocks led gains, climbing nearly 3% in best
intraday session in five months, as a weaker U.S. dollar bode
well for commodity prices.
Lithium miners Pilbara Minerals and Galaxy
Resources were among the top percentage gainers on the
A Biden victory would likely lead to an increase in domestic
production of lithium, copper and other metals used to make
electric vehicles, solar panels and other products crucial to
his climate plan.
Australia-listed shares of global mining giants Rio Tinto
and BHP Group gained about 3% each.
Among individual stocks, online real estate advertising firm
REA Group led gains on the benchmark, after Jefferies
raised price target on the company following upbeat
first-quarter results reported last week.
Top gold producer Newcrest Mining hit more than a
two-week high as the yellow metal stocks inched up more
Tech stocks too gained, with buy-now-pay-later heavyweight
Afterpay Ltd rising nearly 4%.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
1.7%, hitting a record high and eyeing its fifth consecutive
session of gains.
The top percentage gainers on the index were Synlait Milk
Ltd, followed by Air New Zealand Ltd and
(Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru; Editing by Michael