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Australian shares end little changed; miners, energy stocks gain

08/08/2022 | 02:54am

* Shares close nearly flat

* OZ Minerals tops ASX 200

* Survey shows NZ inflation likely to slowdown in third quarter

Aug 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed nearly flat in a choppy trading session on Monday, with miners and energy stocks witnessing gains, while investors anxiously eyed U.S inflation data due later in the week to gauge the Federal Reserve's strategy around rate hikes.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.07% higher at 7,020.6, The benchmark had clocked its third straight weekly gain last week.

A higher U.S. inflation reading on Wednesday could dent investor expectations of a dovish shift by the Fed.

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA), meanwhile, has warned of further rate hikes to balance supply and demand in the economy. Analysts at UBS, however, expect the RBA to try to find a "narrow" path to avoid a hard-landing from aggressive hikes.

Miners rose 2.3% and were the top gainers on the benchmark. Rio Tinto and BHP jumped nearly 2% and 0.8%, respectively.

OZ Minerals surged 35.3% after it rejected a A$8.34 billion ($5.78 billion) takeover bid from BHP Group as the offer significantly undervalued the nickel and copper miner.

Local energy stocks climbed 1.9%, with heavyweights Woodside Energy and Santos advancing 2.1% and 1.4%, respectively.

Techology shares fell 0.3%, tracking losses in Wall Street peers as a strong jobs data report torpedoed recent optimism that Fed might let up its aggressive rake hike campaign.

ASX-listed shares of Block Inc dropped 7.2%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed 0.22% lower at 11,702.81, while a survey showed near-term rate of inflation is expected to slow in the third quarter. ($1 = 1.4418 Australian dollars) (Reporting By Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

Reuters 2022
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