Financials, tech stocks drive Australian market higher

(Reuters) – Australian shares settled higher on Tuesday for the seventh straight session, as financials jumped on some economic optimism and dividend hopes, and technology stocks tracked Wall Street higher.

FILE PHOTO: Pedestrians are reflected in a window displaying stock prices at the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) in Sydney, Australia, February 13, 2018. REUTERS/David Gray

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO rose 1% to 6,195.70, adding about 7% during the seven sessions of gains through Tuesday.

Financials .AXFJ closed 1.7% higher, after having hit their highest level since Aug. 12 earlier in the session, with the “Big Four” banks adding between 1.7% and 3.3%.

“There are some signs that there is a bit of optimism for the economy moving forward, and that’s helping banks have a pretty good run,” said James Tao, a market analyst at CommSec.

Last week, the Australian government pledged billions in tax cuts and measures to boost

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