Dec 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Monday, as
miners jumped on hopes that COVID-19 restrictions in China would
be eased, with investors eyeing the central bank's policy
meeting this week where they expect another interest rate hike
of 25 basis points.
The S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.3% to 7,325.9 points
by 2333 GMT. The benchmark fell 0.7% on Friday.
The Reserve Bank of Australia is expected to deliver a
quarter-point rate hike its third in a row after a succession
of half-point moves at its upcoming policy meeting on Tuesday
as the country showed signs of cooling inflation, according to a
Financials advanced 0.1%, with the "Big Four" banks
gaining between 0.1% and 0.3%.
Local miners climbed 1.7% and were among the top
gainers on the benchmark after iron ore prices were buoyed by
expectations that top steelmaker China would ease its stringent
Iron ore behemoths BHP and Rio Tinto
gained 1.7% and 0.9%, respectively.
Energy stocks gained 0.2%. Sector major Woodside
Energy and Beach Energy rose 0.06% and 0.4%,
Separately, Santos added 0.6% even as Australia's
Federal Court on Friday rejected its appeal to resume drilling
on its $3.6 billion Barossa gas project.
Tech stocks lost 0.4%. ASX-listed shares of Block
Inc slid 0.9%, while software solution provider
Wisetech Global slid 1.3% and was among the top losers
on the sub-index.
Weakness in bullion prices led gold stocks to drop
0.5%. The country's largest gold miner Newcrest Mining
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell
0.4% to 11,590.83 points.
(Reporting by Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)