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Miners, tech stocks lift Australia shares; South32 soars

Oct 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged higher on Thursday, driven by gains in metal-centric and tech stocks, while diversified miner South 32 surged to a three-year high on buying a stake in a Chilean copper mine.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.79% to 7,329.7 points by 0019 GMT. The benchmark dipped 0.1% on Wednesday.

Major Aussie miners rose 1.65% on the back of strong prices of zinc, copper and aluminium due to a power shortage in China.

BHP Group and Rio Tinto jumped as much as 1.4% each.

Shares of South32 Ltd jumped 11.5% and headed for their best day in 1-1/2 years as the company agreed to buy a 45% stake in the Sierra Gorda copper mine in Chile for $1.55 billion.

Australian technology stocks rose 2.23%, tracking overnight gains on Nasdaq, where big growth names like Amazon.com and Microsoft provided much of the momentum.

WiseTech Global Ltd, which provides software for logistics companies, added 4.2% to be the top gainer on the sub-index. Software provider Iress Ltd rose 3.3%.

CSL Ltd climbed 1.7% after the biotech giant confirmed its commitment to produce roughly 50 million doses of AstraZeneca’s COVID-19 vaccine into 2022. Media reports had earlier said AstraZeneca’s shot would no longer be made in Australia.

Gold stocks rose 2.96% as bullion prices neared a one-month peak overnight, helped by a pullback in the dollar and U.S. Treasury yields.

Gold miner Dacian Gold Ltd led gains on the sub-index, rising 7.32%, followed by Pantoro Ltd rising 6.1%.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.63% to 13,107.3. Elsewhere, S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.27%. (Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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