* Iron ore miners lead gains
* Afterpay ends two-day run of gains
Aug 4 (Reuters) - Australian stocks closed at a record high
on Wednesday, boosted by miners after iron ore prices rose,
while shares of Afterpay paused after a two-day run of stellar
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended up 0.4% at 7,503.2, with
miners adding 1.3% as supply concerns lifted iron ore
Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals
Group climbed between 1.6% and 2.7%.
"Miners and energy stocks are moving on reflation, with BHP
alone pushing the market up many points," Mathan Somasundaram,
CEO at Deep Data Analytics, said, adding that the market was
ignoring lockdowns and assuming more handouts by the government.
Afterpay fell 0.9%, snapping a two-day strong rally
that saw it add about 33% after it backed a $29 billion buyout
by Jack Dorsey's payments company Square.
Its smaller buy now, pay later peers also ended mixed, with
Zip Co Ltd down 0.6% and Sezzle up 1.4%. Some
analysts expect the Afterpay deal to lead to consolidation in
Australia's so-called "Big Four" banks rose between 0.3% and
Energy stocks added 0.9%, led by top independent gas
producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd. The company flagged a
5% increase in expected costs for its Scarborough.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
0.8% to 12,797.29, with top performer a2 Milk Co up
The country posted a strong jobs data for the second
quarter, raising bets that monetary policy may be tightened this
Air New Zealand also said its fiscal 2022 loss
would be bigger than earlier expected due to suspension of a
quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia.
(Reporting by Yamini C S and Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; editing