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Miners, energy stocks help Australian shares inch higher

10/17/2021 | 09:19pm EST

Oct 18 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged higher on Monday as energy and metal-centric stocks rallied, and the country's largest city eased more COVID-19 restrictions just a week after lifting its lockdown.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.29% to 7,383.7 by 0043 GMT, adding to the 0.7% gain clocked on Friday.

Energy stocks rose 1.1%, tracking oil prices' three-year high finish in the previous session on forecasts of a supply deficit in the next few months.

Heavyweight Beach Energy Ltd led gains on the sub-index, advancing 2.4%, followed by natural gas major Santos Ltd, gaining 1.5%.

A faster-than-expected vaccine uptake brought forward further lifting of restrictions by several days as New South Wales topped the 80% double-dose immunisation rate over the weekend, pushing travel stocks higher.

Airline Regional Express Holdings rose 6.4%, while peer Qantas jumped as much as 2.1%.

Major miners rose 0.69% on strong prices of zinc, copper and aluminium as surging power prices threaten to curb supply at a time when exchange stockpiles are at rock bottom.

Lithium miner Vulcan Energy Resources soared 11.3% on signing a five-year lithium supply deal with Belgian materials technology and recycling group Umicore SA.

Export-reliant domestic health stocks, however, which earn in U.S. dollars, skidded as the greenback weakened in the previous session.

Sector heavyweight CSL Ltd fell 0.5%, while medical device maker Polynovo Ltd skidded up to 2.7%.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.12% to 12,995.9 after the country's consumer price index beat expectations in the third quarter, jumping to its highest level in more than a decade.

($1 = 1.3495 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BEACH ENERGY LIMITED -4.38% 1.2 End-of-day quote.-33.52%
CSL LIMITED -1.77% 312 End-of-day quote.10.18%
POLYNOVO LIMITED -3.00% 1.455 End-of-day quote.-62.50%
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED -5.48% 5 End-of-day quote.3.09%
REGIONAL EXPRESS HOLDINGS LIMITED -2.41% 1.415 End-of-day quote.-31.31%
SANTOS LIMITED -4.84% 6.49 End-of-day quote.3.51%
UMICORE -3.62% 42.61 Real-time Quote.8.45%
VULCAN ENERGY RESOURCES LIMITED -3.48% 10.25 End-of-day quote.271.38%
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