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Australian shares rise on banks, energy boost; Fed meeting in focus

05/03/2022 | 09:40pm EDT

May 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Wednesday, lifted by banking and energy stocks, with investors awaiting the U.S. Federal Reserve's interest-rate decision and its approach to tame sky-high inflation.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.6% at 7,360.20 points by 0019 GMT, after falling 0.4% on Tuesday.

Markets expect the Fed to hike rates later on Wednesday by 0.5 basis points — the biggest since 2000 — just a day after the Australian central bank delivered its first rate increase in over a decade.

Domestic energy stocks jumped 1.6%, as oil prices climbed after drawdowns in U.S crude and fuel stockpiles sparked supply worries.

Heavyweights Woodside Petroleum and Santos added more than 1% each, while Beach Energy gained up to 2.3%.

Financials rose 0.5%, with Australia and New Zealand Banking Group gaining up to 2% as the bank beat estimates for first-half profit and forecast improved second-half margins.

Commonwealth Bank, Westpac Banking Corp, and National Australia Bank advanced nearly 1% each.

Australian banks also raised their home loan variable interest rates by 0.25% per annum, after the country's central bank hiked its cash rate to 0.35% and warned of more to come.

Miners were up 0.7%, with heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto up 0.7% and 0.8% respectively.

Firm bullion prices boosted gold stocks by 1%, with the country's largest gold miner Newcrest Mining leaping 0.4%.

However, tech stocks fell 0.5%. ASX-listed shares of Block Inc slipped 2.3% and was among the top losers on the sub-index.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.2% at 11,697.97.

(Reporting by Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (AUD/USD) -0.23% 0.6903 Delayed Quote.-4.42%
BEACH ENERGY LIMITED 6.97% 1.765 Delayed Quote.30.95%
BHP GROUP LIMITED 4.32% 42.98 Delayed Quote.-0.72%
BLOCK, INC. -5.52% 65.6 Delayed Quote.-56.04%
BRITISH POUND / US DOLLAR (GBP/USD) -0.69% 1.21815 Delayed Quote.-9.29%
CANADIAN DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (CAD/USD) -0.01% 0.77667 Delayed Quote.-2.00%
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA -0.21% 93.54 Delayed Quote.-7.19%
EURO / US DOLLAR (EUR/USD) -0.55% 1.0522 Delayed Quote.-7.18%
INDIAN RUPEE / US DOLLAR (INR/USD) -0.70% 0.012663 Delayed Quote.-4.81%
LONDON BRENT OIL 1.97% 118.16 Delayed Quote.48.13%
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED -0.50% 27.79 Delayed Quote.-3.16%
NAVYA -3.55% 0.816 Real-time Quote.-57.04%
NEW ZEALAND DOLLAR / US DOLLAR (NZD/USD) -0.83% 0.62389 Delayed Quote.-7.66%
NEWCREST MINING LIMITED 2.90% 22.37 Delayed Quote.-8.62%
RIO TINTO PLC 1.96% 5150 Delayed Quote.1.99%
S&P/ASX 200 0.86% 6763.6 Real-time Quote.0.00%
SANTOS LIMITED 2.71% 7.58 Delayed Quote.16.96%
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION -0.85% 19.75 Delayed Quote.-6.70%
WOODSIDE ENERGY GROUP LTD 4.34% 32.68 Delayed Quote.42.82%
WTI 1.28% 111.845 Delayed Quote.41.29%
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