* Financials, technology stocks lead gains
* Ansell hits record high on robust profit, forecast
* NZ benchmark rises for a third straight session
Aug 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose for a second
straight session on Tuesday, with financials and tech stocks
leading gains as investors cheered potential medical advances to
combat the coronavirus pandemic even as local daily cases crept
The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed as much as 1.1% to its
highest since March 9 before paring some gains to trade 0.5%
higher at 6,160 by 0118 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.3% on Monday.
Risk sentiment was boosted by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration's authorization of the use of blood plasma from
recovered COVID-19 patients as a treatment option, and reports
that the U.S. government was considering fast-tracking an
experimental coronavirus vaccine.
Victoria, the Australian state at the centre of the
country's coronavirus second wave, reported 148 fresh
coronavirus cases on Tuesday, more than the previous day but
well down from peak levels, and eight deaths.
Financial stocks advanced 2.6%, with the "Big Four"
banks rising between 2.7% and 3.9%.
Technology stocks rose 3.8% to an all-time high
after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite's record close overnight.
Medical and industrial glove maker Ansell Ltd
climbed 3.7% to an all-time high on higher annual profit and
strong earnings forecast.
Oil Search rose 2.7%, in line with other oil and
gas producers on higher oil prices overnight, despite posting an
85% plunge in half-year profit.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index tacked on
0.4% to 11,963.7 and was on track for a third straight session
Tourism Holdings Ltd was the top percentage gainer
on the index with a 5.8% jump , followed by local shares of
Westpac Banking Corp, up 3.8%.
(Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu