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Australian shares rise on commodities boost, RBA minutes hint at June hike

05/17/2022 | 03:13am EDT

* ASX 200 closes higher for third straight session

* RBA considered sharper rate hike at May meeting

* Brambles tops losses after CVC Capital ends talks

May 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose for a third straight session on Tuesday, helped by gains in by mining and energy stocks on the back of strong commodity prices, while minutes of the central bank's last meeting hinted at another possible rate hike in June.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed up 0.3% at 7,112.5, adding 2.5% in the past three sessions.

Miners climbed 1.4%, benefiting from a surge in iron ore prices as hopes of an improvement in demand rose on optimism that COVID-19 lockdowns in China would ease further.

Sector leaders BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals climbed between 0.4% and 2.3%.

Demand optimism also boosted global oil prices, helping local energy stocks rise 2.1%. Woodside Petroleum and Santos gained 2% each.

At its May meeting, the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) considered hiking interest rates by 40 basis points but decided to move by 25 basis points to 0.35% in an attempt to mark a return to "normal operating procedures".

"There are no major surprises (in today's meeting minutes) as markets are already expecting a number of rate hikes in 2022," said Steven Daghlian, a market analyst at CommSec.

Over the next few days, investors will be keenly looking out for data on wages and employment, which are likely to have an impact on the size of future rate hikes.

Analysts at RBC Capital Markets said the RBA left its door wide open to move in larger increments at futures meetings if the data warranted such.

Meanwhile, Brambles topped losses on the bourse, shedding 7.6% after private equity firm CVC Capital Partners ended talks of a takeover.

Technology stocks tracked their Wall Street peers lower and were down 0.8%. ASX-listed shares of Block skidded 3.3%, while accounting software maker Xero dropped 1.6%.

Australian shares of Dublin-based James Hardie Industries slipped 3.5% after reporting annual profit towards the lower end of its forecast range.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index eased 0.2% to 11,157.66. (Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP LIMITED 3.60% 41.465 Delayed Quote.-3.57%
BRAMBLES LIMITED -0.92% 10.78 Delayed Quote.2.35%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED 4.17% 17.99 Delayed Quote.-10.05%
JAMES HARDIE INDUSTRIES PLC 2.83% 33.08 Delayed Quote.-41.81%
LONDON BRENT OIL 0.84% 113.02 Delayed Quote.44.36%
RIO TINTO PLC 1.62% 4989.5 Delayed Quote.1.99%
S&P 500 INDEX 3.06% 3911.74 Real-time Quote.-17.93%
S&P/ASX 200 1.60% 6683.9 Real-time Quote.-11.63%
SANTOS LIMITED 2.22% 7.38 Delayed Quote.14.42%
WOODSIDE ENERGY GROUP LTD 2.19% 31.29 Delayed Quote.39.58%
WTI 0.84% 107.425 Delayed Quote.38.53%
XERO LIMITED 0.95% 82.9 Delayed Quote.-41.92%
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