Miners, financials help Australia shares snap two-day loss

Sept 30 (Reuters) - Australia shares snapped a two-session loss to advance more than 1% on Thursday, with heavyweight miners and financials boosting the benchmark, as stock indices in the United States and Europe made a partial recovery from a heavy sell-off.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 1.1% at 7,274.30, as of 0047 GMT. However, the benchmark was on track to post its first quarterly loss since September 2020 quarter.

Investors sought to staunch the bleeding after world stock markets on Wednesday suffered their worst rout since January even as they were looking out for remarks from U.S. Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and the ongoing debt ceiling debate.

Australia-listed finanicals rose 1.5%, led by shares of Zip Co, which were on track for their best session in more than a month after the buy-now-pay-later company entered an agreement with Microsoft for the U.S. market.

The “Big Four” banks gained between 1.8% and 1.6%

Miners were up 0.7%, posting partial rebounds from losses earlier this week with Piedmont Lithium rising 5.1% to lead gains in the index.

Shares of South32 scaled to their highest level in a week after the diversified miner said it will exercise the right to buy a 25% stake in Mozambique-based Mozal Aluminium for $250 million.

Gold stocks bucked the trend to fall 0.7% as bullion prices eased with a firmer dollar making the metal more expensive for holders of other currencies. West African and De Grey Mining were top gainers in the index, advancing 3.2% and 2.2%, respectively.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.06% at 29,563.07 points while S&P 500 E-mini futures were up 0.4%

Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.8% to 13,230.10 points with healthcare and real estate stocks leading gains in the bechmark index. (Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)