RIO

Rio Tinto Plc

58.51
USD
-2.81%
58.51
USD
-2.81%
53.83 84.69
52 weeks
52 weeks

Mkt Cap 73.01B

Shares Out 1.25B

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Miners lift Australian shares to 2-week high on China demand hopes

June 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares extended gains on Thursday, as miners rallied on hopes that easing COVID-19 restrictions in Shanghai and several other Chinese cities would boost iron ore demand. The resources-heavy S&P/ASX 200 .AXJO closed 0.9% higher at 6,763.60, adding 3.9% in the past four sessions and hitting a two-week high. However, it has fallen more than 6% so far this month on concerns that aggressive interest rate hikes by central banks to control surging inflation would slow global economic growth. China's latest pledge to support its economy and gains in crude oil prices after last week's rout helped Australian mining and energy stocks on Tuesday. Miners .AXMM jumped 3.3% to mark their best session in more than a month. Sector heavyweights BHP BHP.AX, Rio Tinto RIO.AX and Fortescue Metals FMG.AX rose between 3% and 4.3%. "Broader markets remain optimistic but cautious," said Mathan Somasundaram, chief executive officer of Deep Data Analytics. Energy stocks .AXEJ climbed 3.6% in their best day since June 8, with Woodside Energy WDS.AX and Santos STO.AX up 4.3% and 2.7%, respectively. O/R "Rising supply-side issues in the energy market are likely to keep prices well supported, even amid concerns of weaker demand," ANZ Research analysts said in a note. On the downside, financials .AXFJ declined 0.3% in their worst session in more than a week and snapped three straight days of gains. The country's so-called "Big Four" banks fell in a range of 0.2% to 0.9%. Among individual stocks, seafood supplier Tassal Group TGR.AX surged a record 16.1% after rejecting a sweetened $721 million takeover offer from Canada's Cooke Inc. Meanwhile, a Reuters poll found analysts expect Australia's retail sales to show a 0.4% expansion for May, lower than recent readings which may prompt the central bank to check its course on future interest rate hikes. New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 .NZ50 ended 0.2% higher at a more than two-week peak of 11,018.62, with dairy firm a2 Milk ATM.NZ among the top gainers. (Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu) The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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