Nov 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares reversed early losses
to end marginally higher on Thursday, helped by gains in miners
due to strong iron ore prices, though the benchmark's advance
was capped by a weak financial sector.
The S&P/ASX 200 added 0.11% to close at 7,407.3. It
had lost 0.15% on Wednesday.
Miners pulled up the index, adding 1.1%, as
benchmark iron ore futures soared to a three-week high.
Major miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue
Metals Group added between 1% and 1.8%.
The financial sector lost 0.9%, on a weak local
"With the Reserve Bank of Australia more likely to hold a
dovish stance on interest rates for quite some time, one can
expect the greenback to strengthen further and the Australian
dollar to remain under pressure", said Kunal Sawhney, chief
executive officer of equity research firm Kalkine Group.
A Reuters poll found that the rate of soaring home prices in
Australia is likely to ease off next year and in 2023, and a
majority of analysts polled forecast affordability to worsen
over the next 2-3 years.
The so-called "big four" banks, for whom mortgage loans are
an important source of growth, gave up between 0.5% and 1.5%.
National Australia Bank lost 0.5%, even after the
country's competition watchdog approved its acquisition of
Citi's local consumer business.
Tech stocks also lent support to the benchmark as
they climbed 2.4% in their best session in over a month. EML
Payments surged 31.3% on its best day since March 2020
on getting the Irish central bank's nod to sign new customers.
New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 rose 0.22% to 12,794.61,
with the country's biggest company by market value, Fisher &
Paykel, adding 4.9% after upbeat results.
New Zealand also reported a trade deficit for October, a day
after its central bank hiked interest rates for the second time
in as many months.
(Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)