Australian shares rise on global rate cut prospects; NZ up
* Rising oil prices buoy energy stocks
* Tech stocks gain up to 1.1% tracking Wall Street peers
By Niyati Shetty
July 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed on Tuesday as
investors anticipated major central banks will ease monetary
policy, and higher oil prices buoyed energy stocks.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3%, or 20.3 points, to
6,711.50 by 0140 GMT. The benchmark lost 0.1% on Monday.
Global markets await key interest rate decisions by two
major central banks, with the European Central Bank expected to
cut by 10 basis points on Thursday, and the U.S. Federal Reserve
expected to lower rates by at least 25-basis point a few days
"Once the ECB starts to move dovish then the Fed will be
forced to follow," said Mathan Somasundaram, market portfolio
strategist at Blue Ocean Equities.
Humming along to the dovish tune, a top Reserve Bank of
Australia official said on Tuesday that the central bank was
ready to cut rates again "if needed".
Financial stocks gained despite the country's
prudential watchdog proposing tighter terms for executive pay at
financial firms, underlining a push for more scrutiny in the
wake of a public inquiry on widespread misconduct in the sector.
The 'Big Four' banks rose between 0.1% and 0.7%, with
Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand
Banking Group each adding 0.2%.
Meanwhile, energy stocks were set to gain for a
third straight session as oil prices rose on concerns over
possible supply disruptions in the Middle East after Iran's
seizure of a British tanker last week.
Oil Search Ltd advanced 1.5%, while Santos
was up 0.4%.
Tech stocks rose as much as 1.1%, tracking Wall
Street peers, as investors awaited corporate earning results
from tech giants Facebook, Alphabet and Amazon this week.
WiseTech Global added 2.1%, while Australia-listed
Xero Ltd gained 1.5%.
Iron ore miners Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals
Group each declined 0.6%, as prices of the material
fell on Monday.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index rose marginally to 10,838.63.
Dairy products maker a2 Milk Company advanced 1.4%
and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp gained 0.9%.
(Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru, Additional Reporting
by Rashmi Ashok; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)
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