Australian shares rise on energy, tech boost; NZ ekes out gains

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March 9 (Reuters) – Australian shares rose on Wednesday, lifted by energy stocks on surging oil prices and strong gains in the tech sector, even as the global sentiment remained weak amid a Russian oil imports ban announced by the United States.

The S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) was up 0.2% at 6,997.60 by 2326 GMT, with gains seen across most sectors. The benchmark index, which closed 0.8% lower on Tuesday, was also set to snap a three-day losing streak.

The tech index (.AXIJ) led the advance with its 1.7% jump, despite the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) shedding 0.3% in a rocky Wall Street session overnight.

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Australian shares of Life360 Inc gained the most, up 4.1%, followed by ASX-listed shares of Block , advancing 3.9%.

Energy players (.AXEJ) rebounded from the previous day’s losses to rise 1.7%. Paladin Energy (PDN.AX) added the most with a 8.6% gain, followed by a 2.7% jump in shares of Beach Energy (BPT.AX).

Gold stocks (.AXGD) also climbed, up 1.3%, on demand for the safe-haven bullion due to mounting fears around the Russia-Ukraine crisis.

Gold Road Resources (GOR.AX) and Resolute Mining rose over 5%.

Financials (.AXFJ) were 0.6% higher, with major banks gaining between 0.1% and 0.4%.

Gambling machine maker Aristocrat Leisure (ALL.AX) was among the top gainers on the benchmark after suspending mobile gaming operations in Russia while saying it does not expect the move to materially impact its earnings.

Santos (STO.AX) said it started early engineering and design works for its Bayu-Undan carbon capture and storage (CCS) project. Santos’ shares were trading 1.5% higher. read more

Separately, Australia’s central bank head warned on Wednesday the war in Ukraine was a new inflationary shock to the world economy but Australia still had time to assess the impact before likely raising interest rates later in the year. read more

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 (.NZ50) pared some of its early gains to rise 0.1% at 11,760.11. The index was still in the correction territory, down 10.9% from the recent Jan. 6 peak.

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Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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