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Miners, tech firms boost Australia shares

07/28/2021 | 09:42pm EDT

July 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Thursday, as tech stocks and miners led the charge with Fortescue Metals gaining after record fourth-quarter shipments and firmer commodity prices helped the iron ore miner beat its annual forecast.

The S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4% at 7,412.1 points, as of 1249 GMT. The index closed 0.7% lower on Wednesday.

Markets showed scant reaction to reports that New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, recorded its biggest daily rise in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began as residents of state capital Sydney face another month under tough curbs to stamp out the Delta variant.

Miners jumped 1.7% to scale a record high, helped by a 3% rise in sector heavyweight Fortescue Metals Group Ltd following its strong quarterly numbers.

Rivals Rio Tinto and BHP added more than 3% each to hit all-time highs.

Tech stocks advanced more than 2%, with Iress Ltd shares jumping 16.2% to their highest in more than a year after the fintech company rejected a takeover offer from private-equity firm EQT.

Gold stocks climbed more than 1% on higher bullion prices. Regis Resources and heavyweight Northern Star Resources gained 5.6% and 1%, respectively.

Bucking the upbeat mood, financials slipped 0.2% with the "Big Four" banks falling between 0.2% and 0.7%

Shares of Macquarie Group extended losses to a third consecutive session after the financial conglomerate trimmed its dividend payout range even though it reported a rise in first-quarter profit.

Energy stocks were up 0.3% with Woodside Petroleum and Whitehaven Coal gaining 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.7%, with healthcare and utility stocks leading the gains on the bourse.

($1 = 1.3572 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP 2.41% 38.66 End-of-day quote.-8.89%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED 4.20% 15.37 End-of-day quote.-34.40%
IRESS LIMITED -0.26% 11.73 End-of-day quote.10.56%
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED 0.38% 172.58 End-of-day quote.24.62%
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED 0.32% 9.28 End-of-day quote.-26.87%
REGIS RESOURCES LIMITED 2.99% 2.07 End-of-day quote.-44.65%
RIO TINTO PLC 2.66% 4841 Delayed Quote.-11.50%
S&P/ASX 200 1.12% 7378.2 Real-time Quote.10.42%
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED 1.75% 2.9 End-of-day quote.76.29%
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD 2.44% 21.43 End-of-day quote.-5.76%
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