Australia shares end higher on gains in miners, EML Payments

* EML Payments jumps on confirming talks of potential takeover

* Reserve Bank of New Zealand hikes rates, biggest in 20 years (Updates to close)

By Archishma Iyer

April 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended higher on Wednesday lifted by miners and energy stocks, which tracked gains in commodity prices, and as EML Payments surged after the company disclosed takeover interest.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO rose 0.3% to 7,479 points at the close of trade. The bourse closed 0.4% lower on Tuesday.

EML Payments EML.AX was among the biggest percentage gainers on the main index, ending nearly 11% higher. The company said it was in talks with U.S. private equity firm Bain Capital for a potential buyout, but that the talks had ceased without an agreed deal.

Miners .AXMM led gains, rising 1% on stronger iron ore prices after the Chinese State Council told local governments to ensure easy transportation channels for smooth logistics like key raw materials.

Rio Tinto Ltd RIO.AX and BHP Group BHP.AX gained about 2% and 0.1%, respectively.

Energy companies .AXEJ followed suit, with a near 1% rise, as Brent crude prices were lifted by worries that more sanctions against Russia will result in tight supply crunches.

Index majors Santos Ltd STO.AX and Beach Energy BPT.AX gained around 1.3% and 1% respectively.

"The key focus point for now will be the metals and energy markets as commodity prices are rising globally," Henry Jennings, a senior analyst from Marcustoday Financial Newsletter said.

"There is still a bit of optimistic mood out there, but it is tempered down with some caution."

Bullion prices pushed gold stocks .AXGD up 1.3% as concerns over escalation of the Ukraine war led to investors scurrying to the safe-haven asset.

Sector heavyweights Newcrest Mining NCM.AX and Northern Star Resources NST.AX rose 0.2% and 1.5%, respectively.

Across the Tasman Sea, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand raised key policy rates by 50 basis points, in its biggest hike in about 20 years, to reduce higher price pressures.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 fell 0.1% to 11,875 points to finish the session.

Reporting by Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

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