* U.S. President Trump says restarted COVID-19 relief
* New South Wales reports biggest one-day rise in infections
* Oil prices jumped ahead of storm in U.S. Gulf of Mexico
Oct 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares opened higher on Friday,
lifted mostly by energy and gold stocks, after U.S. President
Donald Trump revived hopes of a deal with Congress to expedite
further relief for the coronavirus-ravaged economy.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.14% at 6,102 points
as at 2350 GMT.
Overnight, all three major U.S. indices closed higher after
Trump, in an interview with Fox News, said talks with Congress
had restarted on further COVID-19 relief, two days after he
called off negotiations on a comprehensive bill.
Though mixed messages about stimulus will likely continue to
trigger choppy markets, said analysts.
Back home, Australia's most populous state of New South
Wales on Thursday reported its biggest one-day rise in
infections in more than a month.
Among stocks and sectors, the energy sector soared
as much as 1.5%, as oil prices jumped on output shutdowns ahead
of a storm in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and the possibility of
supply cuts from Saudi Arabia and Norway.
Oil and gas explorers Santos Ltd and Oil Search Ltd
rose 2.1% and 2.7%, respectively.
Gold stocks climbed about 2%, alongside a rise in
the prices of the underlying commodity, helped by uncertainty
about the U.S. presidential election and bets that fresh
stimulus would drive inflation.
The country's top gold producer Newcrest Mining
rose as much as 1.2% after its board approved the second-stage
expansion of its flagship Cadia gold mine and the Lihir mine's
front-end recovery project.
On the other hand, utilities fell about 0.8%, with
the country's top power producer AGL Energy losing
Healthcare stocks also declined, with medical
devices maker Resmed Inc down 0.8%.
Engineering contractor CIMIC Group was among the
top gainers in the index, after reporting that transaction with
a new equity investor for its mining services business, Thiess,
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index rose 0.3% to 12,267.9, helped by financial and
(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry