Australian stocks rise on Wall St strength; banks, technology stocks jump

March 10 (Reuters) – Australian stocks firmed on Thursday, boosted by Wall Street’s strong rebound overnight that helped offset weakness in energy and mining stocks after commodity prices fell.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index (.AXJO) rose 0.5% to 7,089.7 points in early trading, building on a 1% jump in the previous session.

U.S. stocks surged overnight, led by the tech sector, rebounding from several days of declines as oil prices fell sharply and investors gauged the unfolding Ukraine crisis.

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The home tech sub-index (.AXIJ) trailed its U.S. peers to gain 4%, with Australia-listed shares of Block Inc up nearly 9%, followed by Life360 Inc’s 7% jump.

Financials (.AXFJ) weighed again, adding 2% as big banks climbed between 2.4% and 1%.

However, a drop in oil prices hurt energy stocks (.AXEJ), falling 3.4% to the benchmark low.

Beach Energy (BPT.AX) lost 9%, followed by Woodside Petroleum (WPL.AX) – down 6%.

Miners (.AXMM) fell 2.3%, while nickel miners (NIC.AX) fell more than 10%.

Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) fell 8.3%, posting its biggest loss since March 2020, as the shares traded ex-dividend. The company also said on Thursday that it was in the process of ending all business relationships with Russian companies.

Nickel Mines fell the most on the stock market following reports of short positions held by China’s Tsingshan Holding, its largest shareholder, in nickel trading on the London Metal Exchange (LME).

Australian company Sezzle Inc., buy now, pay later, announced that it would reduce 20% of its positions in North America, sending its shares up 6.5%. Read more

Bullion prices fell as risk appetite improved, dragging local gold miners down 3.9% – the biggest daily loss since Feb. 25.

Resolute Mining fell 6%, followed by Newcrest Mining (NCM.AX), down 4%.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 (.NZ50) rose 1.1% to 11,939.38, while Pacific Edge (PEB.NZ) jumped 7% to lead the gains.

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Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bangalore; edited by Uttaresh.V

Our standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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