April 7 (Reuters) – Australian stocks on Wednesday extended gains for a fourth session, driven by commodity-exposed stocks to strong crude oil and metals prices and as investors bet on improving prospects for a global economic recovery.
The S & P / ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to 6,920.2 points in early trading, hitting a new high since mid-February. Elsewhere in Asia, Nikkei futures were up 0.4%.
On Tuesday, the International Monetary Fund raised its forecast for global economic growth to 6% this year, a level not seen since the 1970s.
Strong economic data from China and the United States lifted oil prices by 1%, while a weaker dollar and lower US Treasury yields boosted bullion.
Meanwhile copper prices rose on supply concerns after a major Chilean producer closed its borders following a spike in coronavirus infections.
Strong commodities lifted sentiment despite the pullback on Wall Street overnight. All three major US stock indexes closed in the red, retreating from previous session record highs, while Treasury yields edged down.
The ASX 300 metals and mining index was up 0.67%, while the gold sub-index was up 1%, led by Resolute Mining Ltd. which was up 4.4%.
Tech shares rose 1.8%, led by EML Payments Ltd, up 10.7%, followed by NEXTDC Ltd which rose 3.6%.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index was up 0.68% to 12,484.3.
The highest percentage gainer in the benchmark index was Contact Energy Ltd, up 2.8%, followed by Pushpay Holdings Ltd and Air New Zealand Ltd which rose 2.5% and 1.9%, respectively.
Reporting by Shruti Sonal in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips