Nov 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares advanced on Tuesday, with financials and gold stocks spearheading gains, as investors remained confident about a pause in the U.S. Federal Reserve's rate tightening cycle.
The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO was up 0.8% at 7,046, as of 2358 GMT, after closing 0.7% lower on Monday.
Recent soft U.S. economic data raised hopes that the Fed is done raising interest rates and might even start cutting them by early next year. MKTS/GLOB
In Australia, data showed retail sales for Oct fell 0.2% month-on-month, weaker than a Reuters forecast. Investors are also awaiting inflation numbers due later on Wednesday, which will shape the future rate policy of the Reserve Bank of Australia.
On the local bourse, gold stocks .AXGD gained 1.3% to touch their highest level since Nov 6 as bullion prices soared on bets of Fed rate pause. The sub-index was on track to gain for a second consecutive session, if current trend holds.
ASX-listed shares of Newmont Corp NEM.AX edged 1.8% higher, while those in Evolution Mining EVN.AX were up 0.1%.
Rate-sensitive financial stocks .AXFJ followed suit, gaining about 1% to notch their biggest intraday jump since Nov. 15.
The "Big Four" banks added between 1% and 1.8%.
Other sub-indexes such as mining .AXMM, real estate .AXRE and technology .AXIJ also edged higher.
Among individual stocks, takeover-target Origin Energy ORG.AX fell 0.5% after the power producer said its loaded LNG vessel docked at its Australia Pacific LNG facility on Curtis Island had a power outage.
Collins Food CKF.AX soared as much as 10.5% to its highest since March 2022 as the restaurant operator's half-year profit quadrapled, driven by higher revenue from its quick service restaurants.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 was flat at 11,150.54.
Shares of Sylait Milk SML.NZ were trading flat despite the company's decision to raise its base milk price forecast for the current season, helped by a recovery in dairy commodity prices.
(Reporting by Poonam Behura in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)
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