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Australian shares track Wall Street higher, miners top gainers

July 21 (Reuters) - Australian shares climbed more than 1% on Wednesday, led by miners and banks, after Wall Street bounced back on upbeat earnings reports and renewed optimism about economic growth.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 1.12% at 7,333.6, as of 0025 GMT, after two straight sessions of falls. Earlier in the day, it gained 1.2% in its biggest intraday jump in four weeks.

Overnight, all three major U.S. stock indexes closed higher, rebounding from a multi-day losing streak after a string of upbeat earnings and revived economic growth optimism even as worries about a resurgence in COVID-19 cases remained.

Miners were the top boost to the benchmark index, advancing as much as 1.5%.

Diversified miner South32 rose nearly 2% after posting an 11% jump in its full-year coking coal output, while BHP Group advanced more than 2% following a report that it was planning to exit its oil and gas business.

Heavyweight financials gained 1.2%, with all the “big four” banks rising between 0.9% and 1.4%.

Energy stocks rose 1.34%, led by Whitehaven Coal , up 2.2%, and Santos, up 1.8%.

Among the top percentage gainers on the benchmark index, Lynas Rare Earths rose 4.01%, while European property firm Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield added 3.7%.

Meanwhile, South Australia joined Sydney and all of Victoria state in hard lockdowns as the highly infectious Delta variant of the coronavirus spread across three of the country’s major cities.

A Reuters poll showed Australia’s economy would be hit in the September quarter due to renewed coronavirus restrictions, with growth now forecast at 0.1% on a quarter-on-quarter basis, down from 0.9% predicted in an April poll.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5% to 12,709.5. Top percentage gainers were NZX Ltd, up 3.9%, and Mercury NZ, which added 2.5%.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei was up 1.26% at 27,732.8, and S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.14%. (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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