Australia shares hit 7-week high as Evergrande assurance calms market jitters
* Tech, energy stocks lead ASX 200 gains
* NZX 50 end up 0.7% (Updates to close)
Sept 23 (Reuters) – Australian shares ended at a seven-week high on Thursday, led by tech and energy firms, as positive news from embattled developer China Evergrande Group calmed investor nerves, while a hawkish stand by the U.S. Federal Reserve also boosted sentiment.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 1% to close at 7,370.2, with all the sectors in black. The benchmark climbed 0.32% on Wednesday.
All three major indexes on Wall Street rose 1% overnight, after the Fed suggested it was not quite ready to turn down support for the economy, while concerns also eased over a default by cash-strapped property developer China Evergrande .
“The Fed acknowledging that the economy can fend for itself definitely struck a positive note with the investors, as they take the worries about tapering in stride,” Henry Jennings, senior analyst at Marcustoday Financial Newsletter said.
“The crisis day for Evergrande has probably passed and any fall out now may only just impact the Chinese markets.”
Energy stocks surged 2.78% as oil prices extended gains on Thursday, riding higher on growing fuel demand and a bigger-than-expected draw in U.S. crude inventories with production hampered in the Gulf of Mexico after two hurricanes.
Heavyweights Whitehaven Coal Ltd and Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company Ltd led gains on the sub-index, advancing 7.24% and 5.95%, respectively.
Local technology stocks climbed 3.01%, tracking gains on the Nasdaq Composite Index, which rose 1.02% overnight.
Fintech firm EML Payments Ltd led gains, advancing 4.49%, followed by buy nuy, pay later heavyweight Afterpay Ltd , gaining 4.2%.
Fashion apparel retailer Premier Investments surged 5.1%, marking its best day in three weeks on reporting a 97.3% rise in its annual net profit before tax.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.7% to end at 13,305.9. (Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)