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Australian shares inch higher on mining boost; NAB slides

08/08/2022 | 09:25pm

Aug 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares inched higher on Tuesday, helped by gains in mining and energy stocks on the back of firm commodity prices, while National Australia Bank dropped after warning of higher costs.

The S&P/ASX 200 index had risen 0.1% to 7,025.30 by 0035 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.1% higher on Monday.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.4% to 28,147.18 and S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.2%, with investors weighing mixed messages on inflation and how aggressive the Federal Reserve might be in combating it.

The strong U.S. jobs report out last week raised the stakes for July U.S. consumer prices data due on Wednesday, which could see a further acceleration in inflation.

In Australia, financials dropped 0.9% and were the top decliners, weighed down by a 3.6% fall in National Australia Bank after the country's second-biggest lender warned of higher expenses for a second time in four months. The other three lenders among the "Big Four" lost between 0.1% and 0.9%.

Miners rose 0.5% and were on track for a third straight session of gains, helped by strong iron ore prices. Sector behemoths BHP Group and Rio Tinto advanced 0.6% and 0.4%, respectively, while Fortescue Metals Group inched 0.2% higher.

Energy stocks added 0.2%, tracking a rise in overnight oil prices as positive economic data from China and the United States fed hopes for demand despite nagging fears of a recession.

Oil and gas major Woodside Energy rose 0.4%, while Santos was flat.

Separately, a measure of Australian consumer sentiment fell for a ninth straight month in August to depths last seen early in the pandemic as another hike in interest rates combined with the surging cost of living to sour the national mood.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.2% to 11,725.44. (Reporting by Upasana Singh; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

Reuters 2022
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