* Gold miners gain more than 4%
* Lender CBA closes at record high
* Energy stocks jump despite drop in global oil prices
May 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended higher on Monday,
aided by gains in heavyweight gold stocks on the strength of
strong bullion prices, while Viva Energy and Ampol boosted the
energy index after the government decided to massively fund
The S&P/ASX 200 index settled 0.1% higher at
Gold stocks emerged as the winners of the session
with a 4.3% climb, with bullion prices scaling their highest
level in more than three months as worries over surging COVID-19
cases in some Asian countries boosted its demand.
Sector-heavyweight Newcrest Mining gained 2.9% to
A$28.4, its highest level in nearly a month
Australian energy stocks jumped 1% to deliver their
third session of gains, despite a dip in global oil prices.
Shares of Ampol Ltd and Viva Energy surged
and led gains on the sub-index, after the government decided to
pay its last two oil refineries up to $1.8 billion to stay open.
Financial stocks fell 0.4%, but Commonwealth Bank of
Australia hit a record high after rising nearly 2%
Australia's tech stocks ended 1.2% higher. Xero
led gains in the index, rising 6%, followed by Codan
that gained 2.2%.
Miners were up 0.9% with a 1.4% gain in Fortescue
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index snapped an
eight-day losing streak to end 0.3% higher at 12,410.47
(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry