Commodity rally helped Australian stocks close nearly 1% higher | Instant News

* Higher oil prices due to lower production benefit energy stocks

* Copper prices continue to strengthen due to limited supply

* Tech stocks track Wall Street peers lower (Updates to close)

Feb 23 (Reuters) – Australian stocks closed almost 1% stronger on Tuesday, as stronger commodities boosted market expectations of better growth prospects and lifted miners and energy stocks.

The S & P / ASX 200 index rose 0.9% to 6,839.2 at the close of trading.

Participants also watched for a possible change in the view of the US Federal Reserve from Chairman Jerome Powell in his testimony before the Senate Banking Committee at a later date.

Commodity prices rose as oil prices rose on the prospect of tight global supplies after US production was hit by cold weather and a meeting of leading crude producers is expected to hold back most of the production.

Australia’s energy stockpile rose 4.9% due to stronger oil prices.

Oil and gas explorers Woodside Petroleum and Santos Ltd were up 5.7% and 5.9%, respectively.

Gold stocks surged 2.8%, with spot gold hitting a one-week high as inflation concerns boosted gold’s appeal as a hedge.

Miners gained 2% on the back of continued increases in copper prices, helped by limited supply and strong demand expectations.

Copper-exposed global miners, BHP Group and Rio Tinto, rose 3.1% and 1.8%, respectively.

Leading independent gold miner Newcrest Mining jumped 4.4%, while peer Bellevue Gold gained 5.1%. Finance also rose, with the so-called “Big Four” banks rising in the 1.1% to 1.9% range.

Tech shares followed Wall Street peers lower to fall 4.1%, with buy-now-pay-later Afterpay Ltd tumbling 7.2%, while accounting software maker Xero Ltd lost 2.7%.

SEEK Ltd closed 7.1% lower after the job portal operator said it was in talks to cut its stake in China’s Zhaopin unit by A $ 2.2 billion ($ 1.74 billion).

In New Zealand, the benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index was down 0.3%, pulled down by utilities and health care stocks.

($ 1 = 1.2628 Australian dollars)

Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips


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