July 21 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed more than 1%
on Wednesday, led by miners and banks, after Wall Street bounced
back on upbeat earnings reports and renewed optimism about
The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 1.12% at 7,333.6, as of
0025 GMT, after two straight sessions of falls. Earlier in the
day, it gained 1.2% in its biggest intraday jump in four weeks.
Overnight, all three major U.S. stock indexes closed higher,
rebounding from a multi-day losing streak after a string of
upbeat earnings and revived economic growth optimism even as
worries about a resurgence in COVID-19 cases remained.
Miners were the top boost to the benchmark index,
advancing as much as 1.5%.
Diversified miner South32 rose nearly 2% after
posting an 11% jump in its full-year coking coal output, while
BHP Group advanced more than 2% following a report that
it was planning to exit its oil and gas business.
Heavyweight financials gained 1.2%, with all the
"big four" banks rising between 0.9% and 1.4%.
Energy stocks rose 1.34%, led by Whitehaven Coal
, up 2.2%, and Santos, up 1.8%.
Among the top percentage gainers on the benchmark index,
Lynas Rare Earths rose 4.01%, while European property
firm Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield added 3.7%.
Meanwhile, South Australia joined Sydney and all of Victoria
state in hard lockdowns as the highly infectious Delta variant
of the coronavirus spread across three of the country's major
A Reuters poll showed Australia's economy would be hit in
the September quarter due to renewed coronavirus restrictions,
with growth now forecast at 0.1% on a quarter-on-quarter basis,
down from 0.9% predicted in an April poll.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
0.5% to 12,709.5. Top percentage gainers were NZX Ltd,
up 3.9%, and Mercury NZ, which added 2.5%.
Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei was up 1.26% at 27,732.8,
and S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.14%.
(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by