U.S. CPI data cooler than expected
Benchmark index hits highest since June 8
Miners hit highest level since June 16
Nov 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose nearly 3% on
Friday, joining a global rally as cooler-than-expected U.S.
inflation data raised hopes that the Federal Reserve would scale
back its hefty rate hikes.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2.8% higher at 7,158,
hitting its highest in five months, in broad-based buying. The
index rose 3.9% to record a third straight weekly gain.
U.S. consumer prices rose less than expected in October,
pushing the annual increase below 8% for the first time in eight
months, the strongest signs yet that inflation was slowing.
"We have seen this before that the inflation number is
better than expected, but continues as a one-off," said Azeem
Sherrif, a market analyst at CMC Markets.
Sherrif said consistency needed to have a positive sentiment
towards inflation actually coming down.
Heavyweight miners gained 3.8%, as iron ore prices
jumped after China stressed the need to minimise COVID-19's
impact on the economy, raising hopes for a more targeted
approach to contain outbreaks.
BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals
Group climbed between 3.8% and 5.8%.
Tech stocks tracked Wall Street gains to close 5%
higher, with the ASX-listed shares of Block Inc jumping
Financials soared 2.1%, with the "big four" banks
gaining between 1.1% and 2%.
Westpac Banking Corp and National Australia Bank
have quietly relaxed some home lending standards,
banking and mortgage-broking sources said.
Energy stocks gained 0.7%, as crude oil prices
bounced back following the U.S. inflation data and on hopes that
sturdy demand will offset new COVID restrictions in China.
Woodside Energy and Beach Energy climbed
1.4% and 3.5%, respectively.
Among individual stocks, Ramsay Health Care jumped
5.8% after the country's largest private hospital operator
issued optimistic outlook for 2023 and 2024 fiscal years.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index jumped 2%
to 11,311.76. For the week, it gained 0.7%.
(Reporting by Echha Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu