Jan 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended higher on Monday,
boosted by energy stocks after oil prices rallied, although the
gains were capped by weak mining stocks as top metals consumer
China logged its slowest pace of economic growth in
The S&P/ASX 200 settled 0.32% higher at 7,417.30. It
closed 1.1% lower on Friday.
Energy stocks were the top boost to the benchmark
index, climbing 1.4%, as crude prices rose amid tight supply and
worries of a Russian attack on Ukraine.
Oil and gas explorers Woodside Petroleum, Beach
Energy, and Santos jumped between 1.3% and
Miners dropped 1.2% as China's gross domestic
product data signalled cooling growth momentum and weak
consumption in the property and retail sectors.
China is Australia's biggest trading partner.
Bets that the U.S. Federal Reserve will hike interest rates
several times this year also weighed on metal prices, leading
Fortescue Metals, Rio Tinto and BHP
down between 0.6% to 2.8%.
Trading volumes were thin on account of a U.S. market
holiday, with investors awaiting quarterly production reports
from top miners and oil majors this week.
"The bigger question would be how the cost is running... it
is hard to get staff and there are COVID-19 and weather
restrictions, so miners might take a hit," said Mathan
Somasundaram, CEO of Deep Data Analytics.
Retail conglomerate Wesfarmers rose 2.9%, despite
warning of a lower first-half profit due to coronavirus-induced
Somasundaram attributed the gain to the market's confidence
in the quality of Wesfarmers' business model despite the
prospect of lower earnings.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
gained 0.13% to finish at 12,806.90
(Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; editing by