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Australian shares rise after gold, health boost;  RBA Meeting Focus-November 6, 2023 at 1:45 am

Australian shares rise after gold, health boost; RBA Meeting Focus-November 6, 2023 at 1:45 am

Australian shares rose on Monday, helped by gains in gold and healthcare stocks, confirming expectations that the Federal Reserve may raise rates after weaker-than-expected US jobs growth.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was 0.4% higher at 7,005.8 by 0090 GMT, rising for a fifth straight session.

Investors now await the Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) monetary policy decision on November 7 for the next direction.

With inflation proving surprisingly robust, the central bank is expected to raise rates by 25 basis points on Tuesday, having left rates on hold at its last four meetings.

In the benchmark index, gold stocks were the biggest gainers, up 3.5% after precious metal prices firmed on Friday following weak US jobs data.

Evolution Mining rose 6.6% and Northern Star Resources gained 3.6%.

Healthcare stocks rose 1.7%, with CSL Ltd and Sonic Healthcare up 1.8% and 0.3%, respectively.

Tech stocks trailed their peers on Wall Street, last up 0.9%.

Sector heavyweight Zero rose 0.9%, while the block’s Australian shares gained 5.9%.

Financial stocks rose 0.5%, with the “big four” banks posting gains of between 0.1% and 2.7%.

Shares in Westpac Banking Corp rose 2.7% after the company reported a 26% rise in annual profit and said it had started a $976 million share buyback.

In corporate news, regulatory fund AustralianSuper increased its stake in Origin Energy to 15.03% after the Brookfield-EIG consortium rejected a $10.68 billion (A$16.40 billion) bid for the energy producer.

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.3% to 11,148.65.

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