Australia shares snap 3-day losing streak; South32 jumps on copper bet

(Updates to close)

Oct 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares snapped three straight sessions of losses on Thursday, helped by tech stocks and a near 5% jump by South32 after it forayed into copper just as demand is expected to boom.

The diversified miner ploughed $1.55 billion for a 45% stake in the Sierra Gorda copper mine in Chile, the world's largest copper-producing country, sending shares soaring by their most since April.

The benchmark ASX 200 .AXJO climbed half a percent to 7,311.7, with a recovery in iron ore miners such as Fortescue FMG.AX and Rio Tinto RIO.AX providing a lift.

Rio Tinto will provide a third-quarter production update on Friday.

Tech stocks .AXTX climbed more than 3% following gains on the tech-heavy Nasdaq overnight. The country's two biggest buy-now-pay-later firms, Afterpay APT.AX and Zip Co Ltd Z1P.AX , were both up more than 4%.

Crown Resorts CWN.AX rose 3.7% ahead of Friday's decision on its main gambling licence amid worries about regulatory scrutiny of the casino sector.

An inquiry may declare Crown unfit for its main gambling licence, but it is expected to be allowed to keep its casino in Melbourne open with conditions because of its outsized economic role.

The top gainer on the benchmark stock index was Netwealth NWL.AX after it reported record inflows in the September quarter.

In New Zealand, shares .NZ50 edged 0.2% higher to 13,048.49, with a2 Milk ATM.NZ up nearly 5% after Wednesday's rally.

Hopes for a recovery in China, a2's main market, following an upbeat quarterly update by a smaller peer have boosted the dairy firm stock that has lost more than a half its value since December last year.
Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

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