(Updates to close)
* ASX 200 hits highest since June 14
* Miners and energy stocks top gainers
* NZX 50 rises for third straight day
June 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares extended gains on
Thursday, as miners rallied on hopes that easing COVID-19
restrictions in Shanghai and several other Chinese cities would
boost iron ore demand.
The resources-heavy S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.9% higher
at 6,763.60, adding 3.9% in the past four sessions and hitting a
However, it has fallen more than 6% so far this month on
concerns that aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks to
control surging inflation would slow global economic growth.
China's latest pledge to support its economy and gains in
crude oil prices after last week's rout helped Australian mining
and energy stocks on Tuesday.
Miners jumped 3.3% to mark their best session in
more than a month. Sector heavyweights BHP, Rio Tinto
and Fortescue Metals rose between 3% and 4.3%.
"Broader markets remain optimistic but cautious," said
Mathan Somasundaram, chief executive officer of Deep Data
Energy stocks climbed 3.6% in their best day since
June 8, with Woodside Energy and Santos up
4.3% and 2.7%, respectively.
"Rising supply-side issues in the energy market are likely
to keep prices well supported, even amid concerns of weaker
demand," ANZ Research analysts said in a note.
On the downside, financials declined 0.3% in their
worst session in more than a week and snapped three straight
days of gains. The country's so-called "Big Four" banks fell in
a range of 0.2% to 0.9%.
Among individual stocks, seafood supplier Tassal Group
surged a record 16.1% after rejecting a sweetened $721
million takeover offer from Canada's Cooke Inc.
Meanwhile, a Reuters poll found analysts expect Australia's
retail sales to show a 0.4% expansion for May, lower than recent
readings which may prompt the central bank to check its course
on future interest rate hikes.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 ended 0.2% higher
at a more than two-week peak of 11,018.62, with dairy firm a2
Milk among the top gainers.
(Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu