Australia Shares Rise on BHP-Woodside's Final Nod on $12B Scarborough Project

Scarborough - Credit: Woodside
Scarborough - Credit: Woodside

 Australian shares ended higher on Tuesday, buoyed by gains in the mining and energy sectors, a day after BHP Group and Woodside Petroleum gave the final sign-off on their $12 billion Scarborough LNG project.

The S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.78% to close at 7,410.6, marking its best session since Nov. 12, after a 0.59% fall in the previous session.

The mining index climbed 2.5%, boosted by BHP's 4% jump after the mining giant and Woodside late on Monday gave their final go-ahead to develop the Scarborough gas field and inked an agreement to merge BHP's petroleum assets into Woodside.

A sharp rise in the price of iron ore also supported the sector. Iron ore miner Fortescue climbed 9.8%, its biggest single-day gain in almost a year. Rio Tinto gained 3.6%.

"The iron ore strength helps, with the BHP-Woodside (merger), more details on that merger also helped and we are seeing a little bit of a bounce back in the banks, of course, which has helped as well," said Henry Jennings, senior analyst and portfolio manager at Marcustoday Financial Newsletter.

Woodside led the way for energy stocks as it rose 3.5% to record its best session in almost a month. The sub-index gained 2.5%.

Smaller rivals Santos and Oil Search also rose 2.1% and 1.5%, respectively.

Tracking overnight Wall Street losses, tech stocks, plunged 3.5% in their worst session in more than six months.

Jennings attributed Afterpay's 5.4% fall to Square Inc's 6.1% drop overnight, adding that since Afterpay was almost a derivative of Square, the two often moved in tandem.

Xero and Wisetech Global also dropped 3.5% and 5.6%, respectively.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 rose 0.64% to end at 12,688.53. 

(Reporting by Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

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