* Aussie cenbank holds rates at record low, as expected
* Quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and NZ
* Tech stocks close at near six-week high
April 6 (Reuters) - Australia shares ended higher on
Tuesday, bolstered by travel stocks after the announcement of a
travel bubble between the country and New Zealand, while tech
heavyweights jumped to their highest in a month tracking Wall
Street's strong finish.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.8% firmer at 6,885.90
points, its highest close since Feb. 18. The index shaved a few
points off its midday peak of 6,915.700 points by the close of
Australia's central bank left interest rates at an all-time
low, as expected, and signalled that the cash rate would remain
at 0.1% until at least 2024.
"We're not really seeing too much from the RBA that's giving
us anything new," Nick Twidale, chief executive officer of APAC
at FP Markets said.
"It's sort of deflating for the market as Australia's coming
out of the pandemic quite well, but if you've got the central
bank then saying they're not finding a reason to make any moves
for another three years - it's a bit of a knock."
Cleanaway Waste Management rose nearly 16% and was
the top gainer in the benchmark index, after the company said it
would buy the local recycling and recovery business of French
firm Suez for A$2.52 billion ($1.93
Travel stocks jumped, after New Zealand Prime Minister
Jacinda Ardern said quarantine-free visits by Australians to New
Zealand would be allowed from April 19. Qantas Airways
Tech stocks rose more than 5% to finish at their
highest level since Feb. 25, with Afterpay leading
gains on a 10% rise.
Gold stocks climbed 3.1% as bullion prices rose,
with heavyweight Newcrest Mining adding 2%.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed 0.7%
lower at 12,400.48. However, Air New Zealand jumped
5.8% after the company said it would ramp up flights between New
Zealand and Australia.
($1 = 1.3075 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry