Sept 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose for a third
straight session on Thursday, driven by tech and energy firms,
with strong gains on Wall Street overnight also supporting
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index rose nearly 1% to
7,366.6, marking its best day since Aug. 2, after closing 0.3%
higher on Wednesday.
All three major U.S. stock indexes rose overnight after the
Federal Reserve said it would likely begin reducing its monthly
bond purchases as soon as November, while concerns also eased
over a default by property developer China Evergrande.
In Australia, technology stocks rose 2.4%, with
Afterpay Ltd adding 3.7% and ML Payments Ltd
gaining 2.4% as the tech-heavy Nasdaq rose more than 1%
The energy index rose 2.1% to its highest level in
more than seven weeks, led by Washington H Soul Pattinson and Co
Ltd rising 5.11% and Beach Energy gaining
Energy majors Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search
advanced as much as 2.4% and 3.0%, respectively, as oil
prices settled higher overnight after U.S. crude stocks fell to
their lowest in three years.
Financial stocks rose 1.1%, with Zip Co Ltd
advancing 3.8%, followed by Hub24 Ltd gaining 3.5%,
while the "Big Four" banks added between 0.7% and 1.5%.
The gold index, however, fell half a percent as
Alkane Resources shed 4.2% and Dacian Gold
lost 2.4% as bullion lost some sheen on the Fed's latest
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
0.33% to 13,259.8.
Fonterra, the world's biggest dairy exporter,
gained 2.3% after posting a profit surge and proposing a new
capital structure to expand its domestic share.
(Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)