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Miners push Australia shares higher ahead of cenbank decision

May 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares traded higher on Tuesday on the back of gains from iron ore miners, further aided by wide expectations the central bank will keep its cash rate at a record low despite a solid economic recovery and a housing boom.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose as much as 0.25% to 7,046.30 as at 0030 GMT.

The Reserve Bank of Australia in a meeting later in the day is expected to hold its cash rate at a record low of 0.1%, a Reuters poll showed, even as a massive monetary stimulus and fiscal support has led to a speedier economic recovery and boosted the jobs market and consumer spending.

Heavyweight miners were the top boosts to the benchmark, jumping as much as 2%, with iron ore giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto advancing 2.2% and 1.8%, respectively.

Among gold miners, De Grey Mining and Pantoro were the top gainers, soaring 8.6% and 4.9%, respectively.

Energy index rose 1.5% after oil prices gained more than a percent overnight on signs of strong rebound in the United States and China.

Among losers, technology stocks fell 0.78% after the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite dropped half a percent overnight due to losses in blue-chip tech companies.

Aussie tech companies like WiseTech Global and Afterpay slipped about 1.9% and 0.9%, respectively.

Banking stocks were down 0.3%, with Bank of Queensland and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank leading the declines.

Three of the “Big Four” banks traded in red, while Westpac Banking Corp jumped as much as 0.7%, extending gains into a second day after it reported an over three-fold jump in its first-half cash earnings.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose as much as 0.3% to 12,806.39, marking their fifth consecutive session of gains.

Top gainers were Mainfreight, up 1.74%, followed by Genesis Energy and Spark New Zealand, which added about 1.5% each.

Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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