ASX 200 ends 0.2% higher
Energy stock down 1.4%
US CPI data due on Wednesday
(Updates to close)
Sept 12 (Reuters) – Australian shares ended higher on Tuesday, as gains in miners and gold stocks outpaced the losses in the energy sector, a day before the crucial U.S. inflation data that could set the stage for the Federal Reserve’s future rate decisions.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.2% higher at 7,206.9 points. The benchmark gained 0.5% on Monday.
Globally, investors are looking for August consumer price index data due on Wednesday for clues about how close the Fed may be to ending its rate hike campaign. That will be followed by the producer price data on Thursday.
Locally, “what we saw today was buyers stepping in to take advantage of that early weakness, where the ASX 200 was consolidating and building on yesterday’s gains,” said Tony Sycamore, market analyst at IG Australia.
Meanwhile, Australian business conditions proved resilient yet again in August, while inflationary pressures remained elevated, a result that could add to the case for more monetary tightening.
“I think the market seems to be fairly comfortable that the RBA (Reserve Bank of Australia) is on hold now, but to me there’s still just a little bit of extra work required,” Sycamore said, adding that he expects another rate hike by the RBA in November.
Investors also await the domestic unemployment data for August, due on Thursday, for further cues on rate action.
Energy stocks declined 1.4%, with sector heavyweights Santos and Woodside Energy losing 1.3% and 1.5%, respectively.
Miners led gains on the benchmark, closing 1% higher, as iron ore futures rose on better-than-expected loan data from the world’s top iron ore consumer China.
Gold stocks climbed 0.6%. Gold miner Northern Star Resources advanced 0.9%.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed flat to end the day at 11,298.7 points. (Reporting by Ayushman Ojha; Editing by Dhanya Ann Thoppil)