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Miners, tech firms boost Australia shares

07/28/2021 | 09:42pm EDT

July 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Thursday, as tech stocks and miners led the charge with Fortescue Metals gaining after record fourth-quarter shipments and firmer commodity prices helped the iron ore miner beat its annual forecast.

The S&P/ASX 200 was up 0.4% at 7,412.1 points, as of 1249 GMT. The index closed 0.7% lower on Wednesday.

Markets showed scant reaction to reports that New South Wales, Australia's most populous state, recorded its biggest daily rise in COVID-19 cases since the pandemic began as residents of state capital Sydney face another month under tough curbs to stamp out the Delta variant.

Miners jumped 1.7% to scale a record high, helped by a 3% rise in sector heavyweight Fortescue Metals Group Ltd following its strong quarterly numbers.

Rivals Rio Tinto and BHP added more than 3% each to hit all-time highs.

Tech stocks advanced more than 2%, with Iress Ltd shares jumping 16.2% to their highest in more than a year after the fintech company rejected a takeover offer from private-equity firm EQT.

Gold stocks climbed more than 1% on higher bullion prices. Regis Resources and heavyweight Northern Star Resources gained 5.6% and 1%, respectively.

Bucking the upbeat mood, financials slipped 0.2% with the "Big Four" banks falling between 0.2% and 0.7%

Shares of Macquarie Group extended losses to a third consecutive session after the financial conglomerate trimmed its dividend payout range even though it reported a rise in first-quarter profit.

Energy stocks were up 0.3% with Woodside Petroleum and Whitehaven Coal gaining 1.3% and 0.9%, respectively.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.7%, with healthcare and utility stocks leading the gains on the bourse.

($1 = 1.3572 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP 0.00% 37.72 End-of-day quote.-11.10%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED 2.67% 15.75 End-of-day quote.-32.78%
IRESS LIMITED -0.34% 11.58 End-of-day quote.9.14%
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED 1.22% 180.78 End-of-day quote.30.55%
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED -1.48% 8.63 End-of-day quote.-31.99%
REGIS RESOURCES LIMITED -2.02% 1.94 End-of-day quote.-48.13%
RIO TINTO PLC -0.32% 4815 Delayed Quote.-12.19%
S&P/ASX 200 -1.24% 7293.5 Real-time Quote.11.47%
WHITEHAVEN COAL LIMITED -2.54% 3.07 End-of-day quote.86.63%
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD 3.20% 22.88 End-of-day quote.0.62%
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