June 3 (Reuters) - Australian shares hit a record high on
Thursday, extending gains made from the country's
stronger-than-expected first-quarter economic growth data, with
high commodity prices lifting the resource-heavy benchmark index
The ASX 200 index climbed 0.6% to 7,261.00 by 0026
GMT, after having closed 1.1% higher on Wednesday.
Sentiment was buoyant from Australia's solid economic growth
data on Wednesday that showed output had returned to
pre-COVID-19 levels, while the energy and gold indexes jumped on
firmer commodity prices.
The energy index climbed nearly 2% to gain most on
the benchmark and to its highest since April 16, as oil prices
hit a more than 1-year high on OPEC+ decision to stick with its
plan to ease supply cuts through July.
Natural gas majors Woodside Petroleum and Santos
Ltd added 2.3% each.
Financial stocks followed suit, rising 0.7%, with
the "big four" banks gaining between 0.7% and 1%.
Miners added 0.7% to hit their highest in two weeks
as iron ore prices jumped on hopes of easing production curbs
for steel products.
Tech stocks tracked Nasdaq higher to rise 0.5%.
Gold stocks advanced 0.8% as bullion inched up, with
Red 5 Ltd gaining 2.9% to be the best performer.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index
traded up 0.5% to 12,446.680.
In other markets, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.6% at
29,107.57, while the S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 4.5
points, or 0.11%.
(Reporting by Yamini C S in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)