Aug 15 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Monday, as a
strong finish last week on Wall Street boosted investor
sentiment ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia's policy
meeting minutes and major corporate earnings reports later this
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.5% higher at 7,064.30.
The benchmark had closed 0.5% lower on Friday.
"Sentiment is still weak and the market is reacting to
reporting season catalysts," said Mathan Somasundaram, CEO of
Deep Data Analytics.
"Corporate earnings are key with the U.S. now moving into
downgrade cycle. The Aussie economy is better placed than most
to ride out the slow growth cycle but it will be affected."
The corporate earnings season in Australia will pick up pace
this week, with global miner BHP Group, gas producer
Santos and biotech firm CSL Ltd reporting
their full-year results.
Miners rose 0.7% to lead gains on the benchmark.
Core Lithium jumped 9.9% after saying it had received
approvals for a survey and a drilling, while Allkem
rose 3.4% on signing a lithium deal in Argentina.
Steel producer Bluescope Steel jumped 3.9% after
its annual profit beat estimates.
Technology stocks tracked their Wall Street peers
higher to rise 1.3%.
Energy stocks slid 0.8% on weaker oil prices. Beach
Energy slumped 11.1% to the bottom of the benchmark
index after reporting a weaker-than-expected annual profit.
Financials closed 0.2% lower. Westpac Banking Corp
, Australia's third-largest mortgage lender, said its
bad debt fell to a multi-year low in the June quarter. Its
shares fell 1%, while the other three of the so-called "big
four" banks rose between 0.04% and 0.1%.
Somasundaram said minutes of the Reserve Bank of Australia's
August policy meeting due on Tuesday and unemployment numbers
due on Thursday will be the key local events to look for this
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.5%
higher at 11,789.03.
All eyes are on the Reserve Bank of New Zealand's policy
meeting on Wednesday, with markets expecting a fourth straight
half-point rate hike to contain soaring inflation.
(Reporting by Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru; Editing by