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
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
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
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
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