Jan 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares snapped a four-session
losing streak on Friday, after the market went into correction
territory a day earlier when the U.S. Federal Reserve signalled
a more hawkish stance on interest rates and flagged inflationary
Investors now turn their focus to a policy meeting by the
Reserve Bank of Australia due on Tuesday for a hawkish tilt as
domestic inflation has accelerated. U.S. Fed's Jerome Powell had
signalled on Wednesday an interest rate hike as soon as March
with traders now betting on at least five hikes this year.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 2.2% higher at 6,988.1,
but posted a third weekly loss of nearly 3%. The benchmark,
however, did slide out of correction territory with the index
down more than 8% from its August 2021 high.
The rebound is the absence of no further bad news with
tensions between Russia and NATO over Ukraine and rising
interest rates, said Dale Raynes, an associate director at CPS
Australian financials delivered their first session
of gains in seven, adding 2.1%. All top four banks rose between
1.5% and 2.3%, while biotech firm CSL, one of
Australia's largest companies by market value, closed 3.2%
Miners rose 1.4%, with Rio Tinto and BHP
Group climbing 4.1% and 2.7%, respectively.
Investors will be cautiously awaiting BHP's unification on
Monday that may unleash a wave of volatility as index-tracking
funds buy more of the world's biggest miner to meet their
Trading volumes this week on BHP were at their highest since
March 2020 as the miner is set to account for more than a tenth
of the ASX 200 once the unification is complete, with Morgan
Stanley saying it could see index trackers seeking an extra A$4
billion worth of shares.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index ended 1.7%
lower at 11,852.2, suffering its worst week since March 2020
after losing 4%.
(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengluru, additional reporting by
Nikhil Kurian Nainan; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)