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Australian shares rise on healthcare, mining boost; U.S. inflation data in focus

05/11/2022 | 03:14am EDT

(Updates to close)

* NAB marks worst day since Aug. 3, 2020

* Miners snap three-day losing streak

* NZ set to fully reopen international borders

May 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares inched higher on Wednesday as gains in mining and healthcare stocks helped offset losses in banks, while investors awaited key U.S. inflation data for further cues on Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes. The S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.2% at 7,064.70, paring back some of its earlier losses. The benchmark fell 1% on Tuesday. "The market is somewhat cautious ahead of tonight's inflation report (coming) out of the United States," said Steven Daghlian, market analyst at CommSec, adding it could determine the direction of the markets, particularly if there's a surprise.

Financials led declines on the local bourse, dropping 1.1% to their lowest since March 14.

National Australia Bank tumbled 3.9% after the lender started trading ex-dividend, while the other "Big Four" banks lost between 0.2% and 1.6%.

Energy stocks shed 0.1%, despite rising oil prices, with heavyweight Woodside Petroleum down 0.8%, while Santos rose 0.4%. O/R]

Biopharmaceutical firm CSL gained 2.1% to hit a near three-month high following a United States court ruling banning plasma donations by Mexican nationals entering the country on a B1/B2 visa.

Healthcare stocks recorded their best day in three weeks, up 1.7%.

The metals and mining index added 1%, snapping three straight days of losses on strong iron ore prices. BHP Group , Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals rose between 1.4% and 2.6%.

Among individual stocks, Graincorp retreated 1% even as the agribusiness firm reported an near five-fold jump in first-half profit.

In other news, data showed Australian consumer sentiment slid for a sixth straight month to a 21-month low in May.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended flat at 11,233.17.

Separately, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country will fully reopen its international borders from end-July. (Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; editing by Vinay Dwivedi)

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP LIMITED -0.51% 42.76 Delayed Quote.3.57%
CSL LIMITED -1.55% 269.79 Delayed Quote.-5.74%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED -0.86% 18.4 Delayed Quote.-3.38%
GRAINCORP LIMITED -1.46% 9.42 Delayed Quote.15.74%
LONDON BRENT OIL -2.07% 115.61 Delayed Quote.51.70%
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED 1.01% 28.07 Delayed Quote.-3.64%
RIO TINTO PLC -1.07% 5095 Delayed Quote.5.27%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.94% 6700.2 Real-time Quote.0.00%
SANTOS LIMITED -0.53% 7.54 Delayed Quote.20.13%
WOODSIDE ENERGY GROUP LTD 0.43% 32.82 Delayed Quote.49.02%
WTI -2.03% 109.631 Delayed Quote.46.36%
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