* RBA expected to hold cash rate at policy meeting
* RBA likely to extend QE, say analysts
* Miners eye biggest one-day gain in nearly 1 month
Feb 2 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Tuesday, following an overnight tech-led rebound on Wall Street, while investors awaited the outcome of the country’s central bank’s policy meeting later in the day.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to 6,704.9 by 0016 GMT, mainly led by gains in financial and mining stocks.
Overnight, all three major U.S. indexes gained, with tech stocks leading the advance.
The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) is slated to kick start a busy week with its first policy meeting of the year later in the day, where it is widely expected to hold its cash rate at a historic low of 0.1%.
While a more positive growth and employment outlook is expected from the bank, there is a good chance that the RBA will either announce the extension of its quantitative easing program this week or strongly hint at it, analysts at ANZ said in a note.
“The RBA still has compelling reasons to continue to keep the foot on the easing pedal, especially given global uncertainty and other dovish central banks,” analysts at UBS said in a note.
Investors will also set sights on RBA Governor Phillip Lowe’s speech on Wednesday, outlining the bank’s policy settings for the year ahead.
Miners climbed as much as 1.8% in their biggest intraday percentage gain since Jan. 7, even as iron ore futures dipped, with Rio Tinto and BHP Group jumping 2.8% and 2.2%, respectively.
The “Big Four” banks gained between 1.2% and 1.6%, keeping the financials sub-index firmly in the black.
Following a strong lead from U.S. peers, local tech stocks gained 3.8%, with industry giant Afterpay rising 6.5%.
Biotech firm CSL accounted for a bulk of the losses among healthcare stocks, which eased 1.2%.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3% to 13,051.36, as healthcare losses eclipsed gains in financials. (Reporting by Arpit Nayak in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)