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Banks, miners lift Australian shares to near 3-week high

05/24/2022 | 09:43pm EDT

May 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose to touch a nearly three-week high on Wednesday, underpinned by banking and mining stocks, even as shares slipped worldwide on supply snags and concerns over a potential global economic slowdown.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.6% at 7,174.20 points, as of 0101 GMT, its highest since May 6. The benchmark ended 0.3% lower on Tuesday.

MSCI's gauge of stocks in 47 countries shed 0.9% on Tuesday.

Japan's Nikkei dipped 0.3% at 26,675.46 and S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.2%.

Australian financials added 1.2% and were on track to log their best day in more than a week. The "Big Four" banks were up between 0.9% and 1.9%.

The metals and mining index climbed 1.6% in their fourth consecutive session of gains.

Sector behemoths BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group rose between 0.6% and 1.8%.

Gold stocks benefited from strong bullion prices as a weaker U.S. dollar lifted the safe-haven metal's appeal. The sub-index jumped 2.7% to touch a two-week high.

The country's largest gold miner Newcrest Mining gained 2.2%, while St Barbara and Northern Star Resources rose 5.3% and 2.8%, respectively.

Energy stocks tracked U.S. crude futures higher to climb 0.2%. Gas producer Santos was up 0.5%, while Woodside Energy Group was flat.

Meanwhile, global markets weakened as investors fretted over supply chain disruptions and bearish U.S. economic data that heightened slowdown concerns.

Domestic technology stocks tracked a weak overnight Wall Street session and dropped 2.4% as recession worries dampened risk appetite.

Australian shares of Block, Computershare, and WiseTech Global retreated between 5.5% and 1.8%.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.2% to 11,269.32.

According to a Reuters poll, the country's central bank will hike its policy interest rate by half-a-percentage point to counter soaring inflation when it meets later in the day.

(Reporting by Upasana Singh; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

© Reuters 2022
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP LIMITED -3.53% 41.25 Delayed Quote.3.04%
COMPUTERSHARE LIMITED -0.16% 24.64 Delayed Quote.23.40%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED -4.73% 17.53 Delayed Quote.-4.22%
NEWCREST MINING LIMITED -2.79% 20.89 Delayed Quote.-12.21%
NIKKEI 225 -1.54% 26393.04 Real-time Quote.-6.05%
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED -2.70% 6.84 Delayed Quote.-25.29%
RIO TINTO PLC -1.04% 5038 Delayed Quote.4.15%
S&P/ASX 200 -1.97% 6568.1 Real-time Quote.0.00%
SANTOS LIMITED -1.59% 7.42 Delayed Quote.19.49%
ST BARBARA LIMITED -3.23% 0.75 Delayed Quote.-47.10%
WISETECH GLOBAL LIMITED -0.45% 37.85 Delayed Quote.-35.10%
WOODSIDE ENERGY GROUP LTD -2.99% 31.84 Delayed Quote.49.66%
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