Aug 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed on Thursday as
miners jumped on strong underlying commodity prices and a slew
of positive earnings reports boosted sentiment, while investors
awaited a U.S. central bank gathering for interest rate hike
Market participants await U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome
Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium on
Friday. The speech could throw some light on the Fed's monetary
policy tightening path.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to 7041.8 by 0002
GMT, after ending 0.5% higher on Wednesday.
Bucking the trend, Woolworths dropped 4.6% after
the retailer posted a nearly flat annual profit on supply chain
snarls and team absenteeism.
Gold stocks advanced 2.8% and were the top gainers
on the benchmark, with the country's largest gold miner Newcrest
Mining jumping 2.7%.
Energy stocks and miners were also among the
biggest gainers, surging 2.3% and 1.1%, respectively on improved
Shares in South 32 gained 0.8%, after the miner
posted a more than fivefold jump in annual profit.
Whitehaven Coal, on the other hand, dropped 3.4%,
even as the coal miner posted its highest-ever annual profit for
With the corporate reporting season in full swing, investors
took cues from a number of earnings reports that lifted the
broader market higher.
Leading gains on the benchmark, IDP Education
jumped 11.9%, after the education services firm more than
tripled its annual profit.
Qantas rose 7.1% after the airline said its
financial performance improved in the second half.
Charter Hall edged 6.8% higher on nearly doubling
its annual profit.
Pendal Group surged 10.7%, after the company
disclosed a takeover offer from Australian asset manager
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was
($1 = 1.4447 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi