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%
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)