Dec 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Wednesday, led
by mining and energy stocks on sharp rises in iron ore and oil
prices, buoyed by hopes of limited disruption from the Omicron
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.65% to 7,361.4 by 2338
GMT, set for extending gains for a fourth straight session. The
benchmark ended 0.95% higher on Tuesday.
The gains also come a day after the central bank retained
interest rates at 0.1%, keeping the economy flush with cash to
allow a full economic recovery from the pandemic.
Mining stocks rose as much as 2.2% to hit a
two-month high, after a strong rally in benchmark iron ore
BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue all
jumped between 2.5% and 3.5% each.
Energy stocks advanced as much as 2.1% after oil
prices surged more than 3% overnight, building on a nearly 5%
rise the previous day as Omicron fears eased.
Woodside Petroleum gained as much as 2.2%, after
the country's biggest independent oil and gas company said it
would invest $5 billion in new energy products to curb its
The merger of oil majors Santos and Oil Search
received the approval of Papua New Guinea's competition
regulator, sending shares of the companies up as much as 4% and
Tech stocks jumped as much as 2.2% in their best
session in nearly two weeks, tracking a tech-powered rally on
Afterpay climbed as much as 4.5%, while Xero
and Wisetech Global gained 2.1% and 3.1%,
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up
1.09% to 12,747.24 by 2338 GMT.
($1 = 1.4051 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Rashmi Aich)