Aug 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Wednesday,
following Wall Street's upbeat session overnight, as local
miners gained on higher iron ore prices.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose nearly 0.4% to 7,503.9
Elsewhere, Nikkei was down 0.36% and S&P 500 E-minis
futures slipped 0.18%. The S&P 500 index closed
at record high on Tuesday on gains in Apple Inc and
Australia's miners rose 1.6% to lead gains on the
benchmark index, as iron ore prices jumped 2% on hopes of strong
Leading gains, Pilbara Minerals Ltd rose 4.1%,
followed by Mineral Resources Ltd, which climbed 3.5%.
The country's major miners, BHP Group, Rio Tinto
and Fortescue Metals, rose between 1% and 2%.
Aussie energy firms followed with a 0.75% gain, led
by Whitehaven Coal Ltd, up 2.8%, and Energy Ltd
, which rose 1%.
Putting a damper on sentiment was a warning by authorities
that a lockdown in state capital Brisbane might be extended
beyond Sunday if people flout the tough restrictions, after a
further rise in COVID-19 cases in Queensland state on Wednesday.
Financial stocks rose 0.5% with Commonwealth Bank of
Australia, Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
, National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking
Corp rising between 0.3% and 0.7%.
The retail sub-index also gained 0.5%, with A2 Milk
Jefferies said it expected the country's retailers to report
robust annual results on strong demand and raised its PT on a
number of firms, including Woolworths and Coles Group
On the other hand, tech stocks dipped 0.13% after a
two-day rally that saw the sub-index gain about 11%.
Buy-now-pay-later juggernaut Afterpay rose nearly 1%.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index
gained 0.3% at 12,738.3.
(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren