* ASX 200 rises 4.2% in the past four sessions
* Ramsay Health Care slips 10.1%
* Focus on U.S. CPI figures due later in the day
* Ryman Healthcare among top losers on NZX 50
Sept 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended at a more than
two-week high on Tuesday, boosted by banks and miners, with
investors awaiting U.S. inflation data for clues on the Federal
Reserve's policy tightening stance.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7% to 7,009.70, its
highest closing level since Aug. 26 and extended gains to a
fourth straight session.
The U.S. Labor Department's consumer price index, due later
in the day, is crucial to gauge the number and size of Fed's
future interest rate hikes.
"Any signs of disinflation will be welcomed by the Reserve
Bank of Australia, and if markets suspect the Fed could revert
to 25 basis point hikes, then it will likely see less need for
50 bp hikes from the RBA. And that could bode well for the ASX,"
said Matt Simpson, senior market analyst at City Index.
"The RBA will more so be watching Australian jobs data
Thursday and if it has room to be more aggressive next month,"
said Jessica Amir, market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets.
Financials hit a more than two-week peak and rose
for a fourth consecutive session, with the 'Big Four' banks
gaining between 0.6% and 1.7%.
Miners gained 0.6%, adding 9.5% in the past four
sessions as iron ore prices rose to a two-week high. Rio Tinto
rose 0.7%, while BHP Group and Fortescue
Metals shed 0.3% and 0.9%, respectively.
Ramsay Health Care slid 10.4% after a KKR-led
consortium said it will not improve its $14.5 billion
cash-and-stock offer for the hospital operator.
Separately, a measure of Australian consumer sentiment
bounced in September to break a nine-month losing streak as the
outlook for the economy brightened a little.
The Australian equity market will be closed on Sept. 22 to
observe a national day of mourning and public holiday after the
death of Queen Elizabeth.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 closed 0.4%
lower at 11,762.15.
(Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi