for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Australian shares hit record high, U.S. Fed meeting in focus

June 15 (Reuters) - Australian shares hit an all-time peak on Tuesday, tracking a record high finish on Wall Street overnight, with investors focusing on the upcoming U.S. Federal Reserve meeting to get cues on its monetary policy.

The benchmark ASX 200 rose 0.7% to 7,363.300 by 0009 GMT.

Wall Street’s major indexes closed at their highest levels overnight, with investors eyeing the Fed’s meeting to know about any tapering of support and the likely date of a first rate-hike.

Among other global markets, Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.8% at 29,395.72, while the S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.1%.

Back in Australia, troubled casino operator Crown Resorts received a new funding offer from Oaktree Capital Group worth A$3.1 billion ($2.39 billion) to buy back its founder’s holding, in a deal that would give the private equity firm a 10% stake of Crown.

Crown’s shares fell 1.5%.

Tech stocks, with their 1.2% jump, led the gains on the benchmark and hit a six-week high. They tracked Nasdaq’s strong finish overnight. Buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay Ltd rose 1.4% and software maker Xero Ltd 1.8%.

Financial stocks gained 0.8%, with all “Big Four” witnessing an increase.

Energy stocks were also up 0.6%, with natural gas producers Woodside Petroleum and Santos Ltd up about 0.8% and 0.5%, respectively.

Heavyweight mining stocks followed course, inching up 0.4% after iron futures jumped, with index majors Rio Tinto , BHP Group and Fortescue Metals gaining between 1% and 2.5%.

However, the gold index lost about 3.2% as bullion prices slipped on fears that the Federal Reserve may decide on cutting its expansive monetary policy.

In New Zealand, the benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4% to 12,611.1. Medical device maker Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp was the top gainer on the, up about 4%.

$1 = 1.2970 Australian dollars Reporting by Yamini C S in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up