Miners and banks push Australia shares higher
April 22 (Reuters) – Australian shares were buoyed on Thursday by the mining, banking and technology sectors, although losses in energy stocks following an overnight drop in crude prices capped the gains.
The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO rose 0.5% to 7,033.2 by 0045 GMT, after shedding about 1% in the previous two sessions.
Among other markets, Japan’s Nikkei .N225 rose 1.17%. S&P 500 E-minis futures EScv1were down 0.25%, while all three major U.S. indexes finished higher overnight. .T.N
The tech-heavy Nasdaq .IXIC added 1.2%, outshining the S&P 500 .SPX in percentage gain shortly before the closing bell.
In Australia, the top gainers were royalty investment firm Deterra Royalties DRR.AX, up 6.34%, and nickel-gold miner IGO IGO.AX, which rose about 3%.
Technology stocks .AXIJ were the top percentage gainers, advancing as much as 1.1%. Data analytics firm Nuix NXL.AX added 1.9%, while Megaport MP1.AX gained 1.3%.
Financials .AXFJ rose 0.6%, with all the Big Four lenders advancing between 0.4% and 0.8%.
Miners .AXMM were up 0.7%, helped by BHP Group BHP.AX and Rio Tinto RIO.AX, which added about 0.9% each.
Energy stocks .AXEJ declined about 2%, with Oil Search OSH.AX and Woodside Petroleum WPL.AX shedding about 2.5% each, as oil prices fell to their lowest in a week overnight. O/R
Australia’s top independent gas producer, Woodside, saw its March-quarter production dip slightly from a year earlier, even as an 8% rise in sales volume led to a jump in sales revenue.
Meanwhile, AGL Energy AGL.AX hit record low after its chief executive officer resigned just less than a month after the power producer announced its plans to split its businesses into two.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 rose 0.36% to 12,579.9, rebounding from two consecutive days of losses.
The top percentage gainers were Fisher & Paykel Healthcare FPH.NZ and Synlait Milk SML.NZ, up as much as 2% each.