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Australia: Shares gain as miners ride iron ore rally, rival drops forecast
[BENGALURU] Australian shares rose on Thursday as miners almost single-handedly lifted the index, buoyed by a rally in iron ore prices and a downgraded full-year iron ore forecast by Brazilian mining rival Vale.
Rising iron ore prices owing to a strong demand for the steel-making ingredient in China, Australia's top trading partner, had Aussie miners extending gains into a third session, jumping 3.4 per cent to over three months high.
BHP Group hit an over 10-month high, Rio Tinto surged to its highest since May 2008, and Fortescue Metals Group hit a record high on rising iron ore prices and lowered full-year iron ore forecast by Brazilian rival Vale SA, expected to benefit the Aussie miners.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.4 per cent to 6,616.8 by 2330 GMT, on track for its third straight gain session.
Among losers, financials were down 0.3 per cent with three of the four top banks trading in the red.
Conglomerate Macquarie Group declined 0.7 per cent on acquisition of US-based investment management firm Waddell & Reed Financial for US$1.7 billion.
Qantas Airways said the reopening of Australian state borders would boost its financial position and allow it to return to 68 per cent of pre-pandemic domestic capacity in December, and nearly to 80 per cent in the March quarter. However, shares slipped up to 1.1 per cent.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged lower, after advancing up to 0.4 per cent in the early trade.
Gains in financials and utilities were offset by healthcare firms.
Meanwhile, New Zealand's building consents in October rose a seasonally adjusted 8.8 per cent, compared with a 3.6 per cent rise in the previous month.