(Removes reference to trading on New Zealand’s benchmark stock index in last paragraph as the market was closed for a holiday)
* Benchmark index marks fourth straight session of gains
* Mineral Resources jumps 9%, leads gains on benchmark
* Energy stocks snap four-session losing streak, up 2.6%
Oct 25 (Reuters) – Australian shares closed higher on Monday, boosted by mining and energy stocks on strong underlying commodity prices, while telco Telstra rose after it agreed to buy Digicel Pacific.
Telstra Corp climbed as much as 3% after saying it would buy Digicel Pacific in a A$1.6 billion ($1.19 billion) deal largely funded by the Australia government. The deal is seen as a way to block China’s rising influence in the region.
“This seemed like a smart deal as global economies continue to grow wary of China’s influence, but it might be a challenge for Telstra to operate the business efficiently,” said Damien Rooney, director of equity sales, Argonaut.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.3% to 7,441, led by a 2.6% rebound in energy stocks after a four-day losing streak.
Oil prices extended pre-weekend gains to hit multi-year highs as global supply remained tight amid solid fuel demand in the United States and elsewhere in the world.
Beach Energy rose 5.1% to lead gains on the sub-index, while Woodside Petroleum advanced 3.7%.
Origin Energy rose 3.9% after agreeing to sell its 10% stake in the Australia Pacific LNG project for A$2.12 billion to investor EIG Partners.
Miners rose 1.3% as iron ore futures rebounded after last week’s heavy sell-off.
Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals and BHP Group climbed between 0.7% and 1.5%.
Lithium miner Mineral Resources rose 9% to lead gains on the benchmark index after announcing plans to restart production at its Wodiga lithium mine in the third quarter of fiscal 2022.
Meanwhile, Australian officials plan to roll out COVID-19 booster shots soon to prevent a resurgence of cases as the country’s two largest cities, Sydney and Melbourne, relaxed restrictions for their residents.
New Zealand’s stock market was closed for a public holiday.
$1=1.3398 Australian dollars Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu