(Updates to close)
May 5 - Australian shares climbed on Thursday, with
commodity and technology stocks leading gains, tracking U.S.
peers after the Federal Reserve struck a less hawkish tone than
was expected while raising rates by half a percentage point.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.8% at 7,364.7,
clocking gains for the first time this week. The benchmark
closed 0.2% lower on Wednesday.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell said members were not "actively
considering" a 75-basis-point rate hike, tempering some market
expectations for an aggressive tightening path.
Highlighting the implications of the Fed's widely expected
rate hike, CommSec market analyst Steven Daghlian said markets
reacted positively to the Fed's decision as it was in line with
what was already anticipated with no major surprises.
Fed chair ruling out a more aggressive rate hike is helping
U.S. markets with Australia following suit, Daghlian added.
Local miners advanced 1.6% to snap a three-day losing
streak, with heavyweights BHP and Fortescue Metals
rising 0.2% and 3.3%, respectively.
Domestic technology shares surged 2.5% to mark their
best day in a month, with ASX-listed shares of Block
and software producer Xero gaining 2% and 3.6%,
Shares of Rio Tinto jumped 0.5% after the miner
said it was open to talks with the Serbian government about its
Jadar lithium project.
Leading gains on the benchmark, gold miners jumped
3%, posting their best day since early March, with sector
leaders Newcrest Mining and Northern Star
climbing 2.4% and 1.8%, respectively.
The energy sub-index surged 2% after oil prices
extended gains on the back of a European Union proposal for new
sanctions against Russia.
Woodside Petroleum and Santos rose 2.0% and
Meanwhile, shares of Qantas Airways slipped as much
as 2% after the company said it would buy the remaining 80%
stake in Alliance Aviation Services.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.6%
(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru;
Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)