Australian shares rise after Fed slows rate hikes

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Feb 2 (Reuters) -Australian shares rose on Thursday, tracking Wall Street after the Federal Reserve raised its interest rate by the expected 25 basis points, and as firmer bullion prices lifted gold stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO had climbed 0.6% to 7,547.2 by 23:56 GMT after Wednesday's 0.3% gain, with most major sub-indexes trading in positive territory.

The Fed said on Wednesday it had turned a key corner in the fight against high inflation, but that "victory" would still require its benchmark overnight interest rate to be increased further and remain elevated at least through 2023.

Major Wall Street indexes closed higher overnight after the Fed's rate decision and Chair Jerome Powell acknowledged that inflation was starting to ease. .N

In Australia, gold stocks .AXGD were among the best performers, rising more than 4% in their biggest intraday pct jump in six weeks. Newcrest Mining NCM.AX and Northern Star Resources NST.AX added 4.4% and 4.6%, respectively.

Technology shares .AXIJ rose 2.6%. ASX-listed shares of Block Inc SQ2.AX gained 4.5%, while Xero XRO.AX jumped 6.7%.

Financials .AXFJ were up 0.4%, with the "big four" banks rising between 0.1% and 0.6%.

Energy stocks .AXEJ plunged after oil prices fell overnight. Sector majors Woodside WDS.AX and Santos STO.AX dropped 1.2% each.

Among individual stocks, consumer finance firm Credit Corp CCP.AX was the top gainer on benchmark index, surging 10% to its highest since Aug. 1, 2022.

Shares of Pinnacle Investment PNI.AX dropped as much as 7.1% to hit a more than one-month low after the company posted a fall in half-yearly earnings.

Meanwhile, bourse operator ASX appointed Vicki Carter and Luke Randell as non-executive directors in a board shake-up.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 rose 0.5% to 12,151.45.

Reporting by Rishav Chatterjee in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu

For more information on DIARIES & DATA: U.S. earnings diary RESF/US Wall Street Week Ahead .N/O Global Economy Week Ahead DATA/ ................................................................ For latest top breaking news across all markets NEWS1

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