Australian stocks gain 2% as hopes of Fed policy easing grow

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October 24 (Reuters)Australian stocks rose nearly 2% on Monday, supported by miners, as investors took comfort in Wall Street’s strong finish following a report that the US Federal Reserve will likely debate a less aggressive hike interest rates in December.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index .AXJO stood at 6,805.5 points, as of 2336 GMT, with major sub-indices trading in positive territory. The benchmark was on track to post its best day since Oct. 4, if the gains hold.

The three major US stocks jumped more than 2% and posted their biggest Friday-to-Friday percentage gains since June, closing the book on a week marked by mixed earnings, weak economic data and political unrest in Great Britain. -Brittany.

Some Fed officials have begun to sound out their desire to slow the pace of rate hikes soon, according to a Wall Street Journal report. MKTS/GLOB

Back home, finance .AXFJ added 0.8% and were expected to close at their highest levels in more than two months. Australia’s four largest lenders advanced between 0.5% and 1.2%.

Minors .AXMM were the main gainers on the local stock market as they jumped 4.1% and were on track to record their best session since October 4.

Heavyweights in the sector BHP Group BHP.AXRio Tinto RIO.AX and Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX jumps between 3% and 4.3%.

South32 S32.AX rose 2.4% even as the diversified miner cut its annual coal production forecast due to a workers’ strike over wages and an extended move to its Appin mine in the Illawarra project.

Tech stocks .AXIJ rose 1.9%, ending a three-day losing streak. Block listed by ASX SQ2.AXXero software maker XRO.AX and WiseTech Global WTC.AX increased between 2.3% and 3.5%.

Rising oil prices pushed Australian energy stocks higher .AXEJ and put the sub-index on track to hit its highest level since February 2020. Woodside Energy WDS.AX and Santos STO.AX added 1.2% and 1%, respectively. WHERE

Gold stocks .AXGD climbed 4.5% on strong bullion prices, with Northern Star Resources NST.AX and Newcrest Mining NCM.AX jumping between 5.2% and 5.3%, respectively. GOL/

Markets in New Zealand were closed due to a public holiday.

(Reporting by Upasana Singh; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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