Australian shares set to snap 7 weekly losses on boost from miners, gold stocks
March 30 (Reuters) -Australian shares hit a three-week high on Friday and were on track to snap a seven-week losing streak, as mining stocks jumped on firmer commodity prices.
The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO was up 0.6% at 7,167.5 points by 0020 GMT. The benchmark has risen over 3% so far this week, and is set to post its biggest weekly jump since November 2022.
Mining shares .AXMM gained 2% to hit three-week high. The sub-index is on track for its biggest weekly jump since early-November, underpinned by higher iron ore prices.
BHP Group BHP.AX and Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX rose up to 2.6%.
Mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd RIO.AX jumped 1.7% after saying it will partner with Canada's First Quantum Minerals Ltd FM.TO to develop the La Granja copper project in Peru.
Gold stocks .AXGD also notched gains, helped by a jump in bullion prices. Shares of Northern Star NST.AX and Newcrest Mining NCM.AX rose 2.2% and 1.7%, respectively.
Shares in HMC Capital HMC.AX fell 2.7% on returning to trade after the asset manager said it will buy 11 private hospitals from U.S.-based Medical Properties Trust MPW.N for A$1.20 billion ($802.08 million).
Meanwhile, technology shares .AXIJ tracked overnight gains on Wall Street. ASX-listed shares of Block Inc SQ2.AX and Xero XRO.AX rose 3.5% and 1%, respectively.
Healthcare stocks .AXHJ and real estate companies .AXRE added between 0.3% and 0.7%.
Financials .AXFJ also gained, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia inching 0.2% higher.
Investors now eye the Reserve Bank of Australia's (RBA) policy meeting next week. The Commonwealth Bank of Australia CBA.AX expects the central bank to pause rate hikes.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 fell 0.4% to 11,881.4 points.
Reporting by Rishav Chatterjee in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh Venkateshwaran
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