July 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares drifted within a tight
range on Tuesday as investors took a cautious stance ahead of a
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) meeting where investors are
widely expecting a rise in the key cash rate by half a
The S&P/ASX 200 index was up about nine points at
6,622.00 by 0050 GMT. The benchmark had gained 1.1% on Monday.
The RBA is likely to raise its key policy rates by 50 basis
points, according to a Reuters poll, in an effort to temper down
inflationary pressures, matching the U.S. Federal Reserve's 75
basis point hike in mid-June.
"We look for the RBA to repeat June's comment that the board
expects to take further steps in the process of normalising
monetary conditions," analysts from Australia and New Zealand
Banking Group said in a research note.
The Australian central bank's policy meeting outcome is due
at 0500 GMT on Tuesday.
Energy stocks strengthened 1% as concerns of a tightening
supply of crude outweighed fears of a looming global recession,
with sector heavyweights like Woodside Energy and
Santos Ltd climbing 1.3% and 1% respectively.
Miners rose 0.8% despite a fall in iron ore prices.
Index majors like Fortescue Metals Group and BHP
Group Ltd gained 0.4% and 0.5% respectively.
Separately, Guinea's government has ordered all work related
to the Simandou iron ore mine project in which Rio owns about
4% stake to be halted after parties involved in the project
missed a deadline to agree on a joint venture.
Financials were the laggards for the day, with three out of
the "Big Four" banks dropping 0.9%-1.3%.
Domestic technology and healthcare shares
rose 1.5% and 0.7%, respectively.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index was flat.
(Reporting by Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; editing by