July 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares registered a record
closing high on Tuesday, boosted by mining stocks after
BlueScope Steel issued a robust full-year earnings outlook.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to end at 7,431.4
points, its highest close ever. Earlier in the session, the
index hit a record high of 7,447.9 points.
The Aussie benchmark has been "trading in a tight range...
waiting for fresh catalysts," said Margaret Yang, a strategist
at Singapore-based IG, in a note.
"A major resistance level can be found at around 7,500...
the overall trend remains bullish-biased, as suggested by the
consecutive higher highs and higher lows formed over the past
few months", Yang added.
Adding to the upbeat mood, Victoria state was set to lift a
strict lockdown after curtailing the spread of COVID-19.
However, neighbouring New South Wales saw daily new cases spike
to a 16-month peak.
Among sectors, mining stocks led the gains, with
global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto
advancing 2.8% and 1.8%, respectively.
Shares of BlueScope Steel Ltd jumped 6.7% to its
highest since October 2008, after the steelmaker predicted that
its full-year operating earnings would more than triple to about
A$1.72 billion ($1.27 billion).
Energy stocks rose 1.3% as oil prices advanced on
bets that tight supply and rising vaccination rates would help
offset any impact on demand due to rising virus cases.
Gas explorer Woodside Petroleum gained 1.9% and
engineering services provider Worley Ltd was up 3.9%.
Gold miner OZ Minerals jumped more than 9% after
reporting a 33% rise in quarterly copper production and raising
its full-year gold output forecast.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7%
to 12,590.3, hurt by losses among utility and healthcare stocks.
(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren