Oct 27 (Reuters) – Australian shares rose on Thursday to scale their highest levels since mid-September, buoyed by gold stocks and miners, although weak performances among financials limited gains as investors weighed the country’s hotter-than-expected inflation print.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.3% at 6,833.50 points, as of 2347 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.2% higher on Wednesday.
Miners climbed 2.3% and led gains on the local bourse even as global iron ore prices dropped overnight. BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals advanced between 1% and 2.7%.
Australian gold stocks surged 4% and were on track to hit their highest levels since Oct. 10, as bullion held its ground at a two-week high.
Shares of Newcrest Mining, the country’s largest gold miner, advanced 2.9% and were poised to touch a three-week high on positive gold and copper production forecast for the December quarter.
Energy stocks climbed 2.4% on the back of surging oil prices, with Woodside Energy and Santos rising 2.8% and 2.4%, respectively.
Financials dropped nearly 2%, a day after data signalled Australia’s inflation raced to a 32-year high last quarter and stoked pressure for a return to more aggressive rate hikes by the central bank.
The ‘Big Four’ lenders fell between 1.5% and 3.4%.
Among individual stocks, Australian Clinical Labs slumped 10.2% as its Medlab Pathology business suffered a data breach that affected about 223,000 accounts.
Core Lithium slipped 8.9% after the deadline to conclude a term sheet with Tesla Inc as part of a deal to supply the electric vehicle maker with spodumene concentrate had passed without an agreement.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was flat at 11,051.96 points.
The country’s central bank governor, Adrian Orr, said on Thursday that while the country was relatively well-positioned to meet challenges inflation remains too high. (Reporting by Upasana Singh; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)