Australian Stocks Climb With Commodity Gains, Investors Await RBA Decision

ASX Stock (Credits: AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Australian stocks climbed on Tuesday, with mining and energy sectors leading the gains amid firmer commodity prices, while investors awaited the central bank’s monetary policy decision later in the day.

The S&P/ASX 200 index increased by 0.6% to reach 7,724.600 by 0040 GMT, following a 0.7% rise in the benchmark on Monday.

In Sydney, market participants were eager for the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy decision, seeking further insights into the central bank’s stance on interest rates.

After recent data dashed hopes of early rate cuts, the market now anticipates the central bank to maintain its cash rate.

ASX (Credits: Tsaklanos Taki)

Mining stocks, considered bellwethers, saw a gain of 1.1%, propelled by the rise in iron ore prices. Mining giant BHP Group rose by 1%, while the financials sub-index, sensitive to interest rates, traded mostly flat ahead of the RBA decision.

Among the “Big Four” banks, two rose, but National Australia Bank fell by 2.1%, and ANZ Group lost 2.2% after reporting a 7% decline in its half-yearly cash profit.

Energy stocks climbed by 0.6% as global oil prices stabilized, despite Israel rejecting a ceasefire proposal. Woodside Energy gained 1.3%, while Santos, a smaller rival, rose by 0.2%.

Australian Market (Credits: Mick Tsikas)

The healthcare sector surged by 0.7%, with CSL, Australia’s priciest stock, gaining 0.8%. Utilities logged a 2.2% gain, with AGL Energy soaring as much as 6.8% after raising its annual earnings outlook.

Information technology firms rose by 1.1%, tracking the gains of their US counterparts, while real estate stocks advanced by 1.2%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index traded flat at 11,840.7900, with the country’s monetary policy decision scheduled for later in the month. At its last meeting, the Reserve Bank of New Zealand opted to keep its cash rate unchanged at 5.5%.

Olivia Murphy
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