Australia: Shares climb 1.5% on banking, commodity boost

AUSTRALIAN shares rose on Monday after falling for three straight sessions, as banking stocks rallied, with investors awaiting another potential 50 basis points (bps) rate hike by the Reserve Bank of Australia to tame runaway inflation.

The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 1.5 per cent to 6,640.10 by 0049 GMT, after having shed 0.4 per cent on Friday.

Among global markets, Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.6 per cent, while S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.57 per cent.

Financial stocks led gains on the Australian benchmark with a jump of 1.5%. The so-called “Big Four” banks climbed between 1.8 per cent and 2.3 per cent.

Investors’ focus is on the Australian central bank’s decision on Tuesday, with a Reuters poll finding that it will deliver another 50 bp interest-rate hike and mark the first time it has ever raised the cash rate by that magnitude at consecutive meetings.

Gold stocks advanced 2.6 per cent, with sector major Newcrest Mining rising 3.1 per cent.

Mining and energy stocks followed suit to gain 0.4 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively. Technology stocks added 1.5 per cent, tracking a strong finish on Wall Street on Friday, ahead of the long holiday weekend.

Australia-listed shares of Block Inc soared 6.2 per cent and Life360 Inc rose 5.6 per cent.

Link Administration said it will not recommend Canadian cloud-based software firm Dye & Durham’s lowered takeover bid but agreed to continue to engage with it. Its shares were flat.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 1.2 per cent to 10,876.98. REUTERS

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