By Soumyajit Saha
June 24 (Reuters) – Australian shares rose on Wednesday, tracking a stronger Wall Street, as hopes for a quick economic recovery persisted following an improvement in data from the United States and an upbeat commentary from domestic regulators.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.26% to 5,969.7 in early trade, on track for its third straight session of gains. On the Wall Street, main indexes climbed between 0.43% and 0.74%.
Market sentiment was upbeat on the U.S. reporting higher May sales of new homes and a slowing contraction in its manufacturing and services sectors in June, and on comments from Australia’s main financial regulators that they saw signs of an economic recovery.
Back home, technology shares rose 1.18% following their Wall Street peers.
The subindex was led by Afterpay Ltd, up 2.75%, after it said on Tuesday its Clearpay division had reached more than one million active shoppers in the United Kingdom.
The metals and mining index rose 0.73%, led by Ioneer Ltd’s 13.04% jump after it said it was in talks with multiple parties regarding the funding of its Rhyolite Ridge Lithium-Boron Project.
Gold stocks rose 1.7%, led by Bellevue Gold Ltd that rose 8.9%.
Bullion prices rose after the U.S. dollar weakened and on hopes of more monetary stimulus packages by central banks.
The number of issues on the ASX that advanced were 463, while 212 declined.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.66% to 11,206.6 ahead of a central bank policy decision.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to hold rates steady, but strike a dovish tone.
(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)