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Miners push Australia shares higher ahead of central bank decision

Australian shares traded higher on Tuesday on the back of gains from iron ore miners, further aided by wide expectations the central bank will keep its cash rate at a record low despite a solid economic recovery and a housing boom.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose as much as 0.25% to 7,046.30 as at 0030 GMT.

The Reserve Bank of Australia in a meeting later in the day is expected to hold its cash rate at a record low of 0.1%, a Reuters poll showed, even as a massive monetary stimulus and fiscal support has led to a speedier economic recovery and boosted the jobs market and consumer spending.

Heavyweight miners were the top boosts to the benchmark, jumping as much as 2%, with iron ore giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto advancing 2.2% and 1.8%, respectively.

Among gold miners, De Grey Mining and Pantoro were the top gainers, soaring 8.6% and 4.9%?, respectively.

Energy index rose 1.5% after oil prices gained more than a percent overnight on signs of strong rebound in the United States and China.

Among losers, technology stocks fell 0.78% after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped half a percent overnight due to losses in blue-chip tech companies.

Aussie tech companies like WiseTech Global and Afterpay slipped about 1.9% and 0.9%, respectively.

Banking stocks were down 0.3%, with Bank of Queensland and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank leading the declines.

Three of the “Big Four” banks traded in red, while Westpac Banking Corp jumped as much as 0.7%, extending gains into a second day after it reported an over three-fold jump in its first-half cash earnings.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose as much as 0.3% to 12,806.39, marking their fifth consecutive session of gains.

Top gainers were Mainfreight, up 1.74%, followed by Genesis Energy and Spark New Zealand, which added about 1.5% each.

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