* 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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