Australian shares snap two days of losses aided by resources stocks

Australian shares snap two days of losses aided by resources stocks

* Energy stocks lead the gains on benchmark

* Miners, financial, tech stocks rise (Updates to close)

By Jaskiran Singh

Aug 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares snapped their two-day losing streak on Wednesday, aided by soaring mining and energy stocks, while economic data and hawkish comments from a U.S. Federal Reserve official kept sentiment in check.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO ended 0.5% higher at 6,998.1 points at the close of trade, after shedding around 2% over the previous two sessions.

Global investor sentiment remained subdued on indications of a slowdown after economic data showed contraction of private sector business activity in U.S. and hawkish comments by a Federal Reserve official.

"Given we are approaching the Jackson Hole Symposium, I'd expect traders to be less willing to take a directional punt on the markets. So we could be in for a couple of days of choppy trade until we see just how hot (or not) inflation is," said Matthew Simpson, senior market analyst at StoneX Financial.

Export-centric miners .AXMM jumped 1.3% after China's iron ore prices rose on prospects of strong demand ahead of peak construction season.

Sector giants BHP Group BHP.AX and Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX added 1.1% and 0.4%, respectively.

Financials .AXFJ too joined the broader rally, rising 0.4% with all of the so-called "Big Four" banks trading in positive territory.

Energy stocks .AXEJ emerged as the top gainer on the benchmark with a 2.8% jump through the session, with Santos Ltd STO.AX and Woodside Energy Group WDS.AX gaining 2.1% and 3.4%, respectively.

Domestic technology stocks .AXIJ jumped over 2%, even as their overseas peers slipped overnight, largely boosted by sector major WiseTech Global's WTC.AX full-year results.

The software solutions provider soared over 12% after posting a 72% jump in its underlying net profit after tax to A$181.8 mln ($125.48 mln).

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 ended 0.1% higher at 11,655.3.

($1 = 1.4489 Australian dollars)
Reporting by Jaskiran Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri