* ASX 200 posts biggest one-day gain since March 1
* Energy stocks top gainers on ASX 200
* COVID-19 cases in NSW weigh on sentiment
June 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares jumped the most since
March on Tuesday, rebounding from the previous session's drop as
an overnight rally on Wall Street spurred investors to pile into
domestic energy and mining stocks.
The benchmark ASX 200 index ended 1.5% higher at
7,342.2 points, recouping much of Monday's 1.8% drop.
"It is a bounce back ... predominantly the big factor being
a swing in Wall Street that is dragging the buyers back in,"
said Henry Jennings, a senior analyst at Marcustoday Financial
U.S. stocks ended sharply higher overnight as investors
loaded up on energy and other sectors expected to outperform as
the economy recovers from the COVID-19 pandemic.
But the Australian market's gains were capped by concerns
around COVID-19 cases in the country's most populous state of
New South Wales (NSW), Jennings said.
NSW earlier in the day extended its mask mandate for a week
in Sydney after reporting its biggest spike in locally acquired
coronavirus cases in almost a week.
The domestic energy index surged 2.2% as oil prices
also advanced. Engineering solutions firm Worley Ltd
rose 6.1%, while Santos Ltd added 3.2%.
Benchmark heavyweight miners gained 2.1%, with Rio
Tinto firming 1.6% and the world's largest miner, BHP
Group, advancing 2.4%.
Investment firm Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Co
added nearly 1% after saying it would buy smaller rival Milton
Corp for A$4.05 billion ($3.05 billion).
Milton's shares surged 16% to a record high.
In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 rose 0.3% to
12,534.80 points, with retirement home operator Arvida Group Ltd
leading the gains on the bourse with a 4.1% rise.
A survey showed the country's consumer confidence rose in
the second quarter with robust economic conditions expected to
continue this year.
($1 = 1.3300 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Yamini C S in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni)