Gains in financials, BHP lift Australia stocks

10/20/2021 | 02:01am

Oct 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Wednesday, lifted by financial and mining stocks, while global miner BHP touched a month high after topping billionaire Andrew Forrest's bid for nickel miner Noront Resources.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose about 0.53% to close at 7,413.7, after falling 0.08% on Tuesday.

The biggest boost to the benchmark came from the financial sector, which closed 0.96% higher with the big banks adding between 0.6% and 1.1%.

"The major banks are also seen to be harnessing the benefits of a recent uptick in Australian 10-year bond yield, which seems to have increased the attractiveness of the financial stocks," said Kunal Sawhney, chief executive of equity research firm Kalkine Group.

Miners gained 0.03%, after BHP added 0.5% as it sweetened its bid for Canada's Noront Resources .

Rio Tinto and Fortescue lost 0.1% and 0.4%, respectively.

Investors believe the gains in the index, which has dropped about 4% this year, are likely to be short-lived as China remains adamant over implementing steel output curbs over the remainder of the year, and a possibility of shake-up of iron ore prices remains on the back of the developing China Evergrande Group crisis.

Tech stocks rose 1.1% to a three-week high, as positive earnings sentiment from tech companies on Wall Street spilled over.

Codan Ltd was the top gainer on the tech index and on the benchmark as it closed 7.6% higher.

Online retailer also rose 6.7% to hit its highest in almost two months after a jump in quarterly gross sales.

Coal miners across the board fell after the Chinese government said it would intervene to curb surging coal prices , sending Whitehaven Coal's shares down 7.85% to make it the top loser on the benchmark.

Fellow coal miners Yancoal Australia and New Hope Corp also dropped 6.2% and 4.8%, respectively.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.37% to 13,114.24.

(Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Anil D'Silva)

© Reuters 2021
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