A stock market watcher stands in front of an ASX board.

ASX rises, Suncorp share price jumps amid ANZ takeover bid, NZ inflation hits 7.3 per cent,

Australian shares rose on Monday as comments from two Federal Reserve officials eased fears of a major rate hike this month, while Suncorp jumped after ANZ announced it would buy the insurer’s banking business.

The ASX 200 was up 31 points, or 0.5 percent, to 6,637 at midday.

At the same time, the Australian dollar rose to 68.12 US cents.

Market participants felt relieved after comments by two Federal Reserve officials at the July 26-27 central bank meeting hinted at a 75 basis point rate hike instead of a full point.

In Australia, energy stocks led the day’s gains, rising as much as 1.7 percent after Brent oil prices surged on Friday.

Miners (+1) rose even after iron ore prices in China fell 10 percent on Friday on weak demand prospects in Asia’s largest economy.

Index majors Rio Tinto, Fortescue Metals Group and BHP Group climbed between 0.2 percent and 0.8 percent.

Financials rose about 0.7 percent, with three of the “big four” banks gaining between 0.2 percent and 1 percent.

Technology stocks gained 1.3 percent, while Block’s shares gained about 4 percent.

Healthcare stocks were the only laggards, losing 0.9 percent.

In company news, Suncorp rose 6 percent to $11.77 after announcing that ANZ would buy the company for $4.9 billion to bolster its customer growth and home loan book.

Trading in shares of ANZ has been halted.

Meanwhile, New Zealand government data showed the country’s annual inflation rose to 7.3 percent from 6.9 percent in the first quarter, beating many economists’ expectations.

global stock market rally

Global stocks rose on Friday, while the dollar slumped and oil rose as investors scaled back expectations of an aggressive Federal Reserve rate hike this month and US spending data beat forecasts.

Investors are still worried the global economy is heading into recession as central banks rush to rein in runaway inflation, with steep rate hikes in Canada, New Zealand, Chile, South Korea and the Philippines this week. Many also digest an easing of the political crisis in Italy.

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