Australian stocks hit three-week highs in banks and technology.

Australian stocks rose to a nearly three-week high on Wednesday, supported by banking and technology stocks, as investors calmed down by the central bank’s surprise decision to slow the pace of its rate hikes.

The S&P/ASX 200 Index was up 1.76% to 6,815.5 points, 0001 GMT. The benchmark index rose 3.8% on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, the Reserve Bank of Australia surprised markets with a lower-than-expected 25 basis point rate hike, saying rates had already risen significantly but adding that more tightening was needed.

Rate-sensitive tech stocks rose 3.9%, trailing the rally in the tech-heavy Nasdaq index.

Software company Novonix rose 6.6% and Megaport rose 5.2%, while shares in ASX-listed Block Inc led gains, jumping 9.3%.

Financial stocks rose 2.2%, with the “big four” banks each up more than 2%.

Among individual stocks, Fortescue Metals Group rose 2.2% after its green energy arm, Fortescue Future Industries (FFI), partnered with energy infrastructure developer Tree Energy Solutions to develop a hydrogen energy import facility in Germany.

Link Administration Holdings rose nearly 5% after Canada-based Dye & Durham (D&D) announced an A$1.27 billion ($826.14 million) bid for the Bank segments of the share registration company had received the whole company failed.

On the other side of the Tasman Sea, the New Zealand benchmark index S&P/NZX 50 is trading down 1.19% to 11,090 points.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand will make its fifth rate hike a half-point later today and is expected to do the same in November to try to stem the tide of rising inflation, according to a Reuters poll of economists.

($1 = 1.5373 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Riya Sharma Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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