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Australian shares close near 3-week high; BHP up nearly 3%

10/15/2021 | 03:17am EST

Oct 15 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Friday to their highest close in nearly three weeks, supported by tech stocks and a near 3% gain by BHP Group.

Macquarie Group jumped nearly 4% after Morgan Stanley raised its price target by 37%, given the financial conglomerate's ability to take advantage of the green wave.

The benchmark ASX 200 index closed 0.7% higher at 7,362. The index gained around half a percent over the week despite falling in the first three sessions.

BHP and Fortescue rose 2.8% and 2%, respectively, as iron ore prices rose following sharp losses this week.

Rio Tinto fell 0.9% as the miner lowered its iron ore shipment forecast for 2021, kicking off the production reporting window. BHP will report its quarterly report on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Star Entertainment Group climbed 5.4%, although it saw its worst week since March last year after losing a quarter of its value in the first two days over governance concerns.

Rival Crown Resorts is awaiting news on an inquiry report that may declare it unfit for a gambling licence at its biggest-earning casino in Melbourne. Its shares rose 1.5%.

The country's "Big Four" banks also ended the week higher, rising between 0.2% and 1.1%.

Three of the four will report annual results at the end of the month, while the largest Commonwealth Bank of Australia will provide its quarterly update in November.

In other news, Insurance Australia Group slid 3.2% after the corporate regulator sued a unit of the company for failing to pass on discounts to 600,000 customers.

In New Zealand, shares ended 0.3% lower at 13,012.19.

a2 Milk dipped 1.9%, giving up some of the gains it accumulated from Wednesday when a smaller peer highlighted improving conditions in China. (Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP -0.48% 39.71 End-of-day quote.-6.41%
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA 2.15% 95.9 End-of-day quote.16.79%
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED 0.73% 11.02 End-of-day quote.14.43%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED -0.12% 17.25 End-of-day quote.-26.38%
INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LIMITED -0.45% 4.4 End-of-day quote.-6.38%
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED 1.47% 198.56 End-of-day quote.43.39%
THE A2 MILK COMPANY LIMITED -1.17% 5.9 End-of-day quote.-51.12%
THE STAR ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LIMITED -0.28% 3.54 End-of-day quote.-3.80%
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