* Woodside Energy hits highest since July 2019
* Energy stocks up 1.4%, tech stocks rise 1.8%
* Dairy producer a2 Milk Co up 6%, tops gains on NZX50
Aug 30 (Reuters) - Australian shares settled higher on
Tuesday, as Woodside Energy boosted energy stocks after
declaring a record interim dividend, and tech heavyweights
gained following a sharp sell-off in the previous session.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.5% higher at 6,998.3,
recouping some of the losses suffered on Monday in its worst
session since June 30.
On Monday, shares fell sharply after Federal Reserve Chair
Jerome Powell's promise of policy "pain" to contain inflation
quashed hopes that the U.S. central bank would ride to the
rescue of markets as so often in the past.
"Energy producers and earnings-related announcements led
today's rebound in the market," said Kunal Sawhney, chief
executive officer of Kalkine Group.
"But for the rest of the week, the broader theme that is
likely to shape market direction is Powell's comments, which
were heavily and unequivocally tilted towards continued tighter
Shares of Woodside Energy rose 3.8% to their
highest since July 2, 2019, before paring some gains to close up
The gas producer more than tripled its interim dividend
payout and posted a five-fold increase in first-half profit on
booming oil and gas prices and its takeover of BHP Group's
The broader energy sub-index climbed 1.4%, also
benefiting from higher oil prices.
Meanwhile, BHP said its shareholders had sought inclusion of
climate sensitivity analysis in financial statements from 2023,
and consistency on climate policy. Shares of the company closed
Shares of Mineral Resources hit a record high and
topped gains on the benchmark index, a day after the company
posted annual results. Brokerage Jefferies raised its price
target for the stock, while UBS re-iterated its "buy" rating.
Technology shares jumped 1.8%, regaining some of the
losses recorded on Monday.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index climbed
1.2% to 11,648.65.
Dairy producer a2 Milk Co extended gains driven by
better-than-expected annual results, and hit its highest since
(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by