July 26 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged higher on
Tuesday, as strong commodity prices boosted mining and energy
stocks, while investors braced for a likely 75-basis-point rate
hike by the U.S Federal Reserve this week.
The S&P/ASX 200 index had risen 0.14% by 0021 GMT
after closing little changed in the previous session.
Iron ore prices rose on Monday as hopes grew of a
third-quarter economic rebound in top steel producer China,
while oil prices jumped on supply fears and a dip in the U.S.
Miners jumped 1.4% to lead gains on the benchmark,
with iron ore behemoths BHP Group and Rio Tinto
rising more than 1% each.
Energy stocks climbed 1.4%, with oil and gas majors
Woodside Energy and Santos adding 1.1% and 2%,
Financials advanced 0.31%, with three of the "big
four" banks trading in positive territory.
Technology stocks dropped 0.92%, tracking losses in
their Wall Streets peers as investors fretted that aggressive
rate hikes could tip the U.S. economy into recession.
ASX-listed shares of Block Inc slipped 3.1%, while
software company Iress skidded 6.4% and was the top
loser on the sub-index.
Gold stocks fell 1.4% on weak bullion prices, with
Newcrest Mining, the country's largest miner, declining
Among individual stocks, Woolworths Group dropped
1.5% as the country's largest supermarket chain operator said
its chairman would retire in October after seven years in the
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.04%
(Reporting by Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu