* Aus Q1 GDP +1.8% vs Reuters poll +1.5%
* Miners gain for 5th straight day
* Energy stocks top gainers on Aussie benchmark
June 2 (Reuters) - Australian shares scaled a record high on
Wednesday, as investors lapped up data that showed the country's
first-quarter economic growth came in better than expected and
shrugged off concerns over fresh COVID-19 cases in Victoria.
The S&P/ASX 200, which has climbed to record highs a
multiple times in recent sessions, closed 1.1% higher at
7,217.8. The benchmark ended 0.3% lower on Tuesday.
Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed
gross domestic product rose 1.8%, topping estimates, while
increased consumer and business spending lifted output.
"Pent-up demand and the lagged effects of stimulus measures
for household spending is still powering the Australian economy
along," Robert Carnell, regional head of research for
Asia-Pacific at ING Economics said in a note.
He added, however, that with total GDP higher than pre-COVID
levels, the period of most rapid catch-up had probably passed.
Miners, the biggest constituent on the Aussie
benchmark, rose 2%, and were up for a fifth straight day due to
firmer commodity prices.
Global miner Rio Tinto ended the session 2.1%
higher, while rival BHP Ltd hit its biggest closing
high since May 18.
Energy stocks tracked a jump in oil prices to close
4.1% higher in their best session since late February.
Oil and gas explorers Woodside Petroleum and Santos
Ltd rose 4.6% and 6.5%, respectively, with the latter
closing at its highest in nearly three months.
Meanwhile, the state of Victoria extended a snap COVID-19
lockdown for a second week in capital Melbourne as authorities
battle fresh cases.
Travel stocks were still undeterred with Flight Centre
ending 2.9% higher, and Sydney Airport hitting
its highest close in three weeks.
Steven Daghlian, a market analyst at CommSec, said travel
stocks were coming off the back of heavy declines in May, but
had "held up quite well and the market hasn't really paid too
much attention to it."
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 closed 0.2% lower
(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry