July 30 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell slightly on
Friday as losses in tech names overshadowed gains in mining and
gold stocks, while Origin Energy dropped to the bottom of the
benchmark index after issuing a grim outlook for its core
The S&P/ASX 200 index was down nearly 0.1% to
7,407.9 by 0112 GMT. It was on track for a small weekly gain,
its third in a row.
Origin Energy fell as much as 8.1% after the power
and gas retailer said it expected a A$2.25 billion ($1.66
billion) charge in fiscal 2021 and forecast lower core earnings
in its energy markets business for the next two years.
While Origin Energy was the biggest loser on the benchmark
index, rival AGL Energy declined as much as 4% to hit a
Tech stocks fell more than 1.7% and were the biggest
losers on the benchmark. Sector heavyweights Afterpay
and Xero shed 2.9% and 0.5%, respectively .
Energy stocks were down 0.5% with Santos
and Oil Search falling 0.6% and 0.8%, respectively.
Among gainers, heavyweight miners rose 1% on the
back of strong copper prices, extending gains into a second
session and hitting a record high.
Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals
climbed between 0.2% and 1.5%.
Gold stocks advanced more than 0.7% on firmer
bullion prices. Newcrest Mining and Northern Star
Resources were up 1.4% and 1.5%, respectively.
Investors were also worried about a spike in COVID-19 cases,
which prompted authorities to extend a lockdown in the most
populous state of New South Wales.
Financials were up 0.6% with the big four banks
gaining between 0.3% and 1%.
New Zealand's S&P NZX/50 index was down 0.4%, with
A2 Milk and Fletcher Building being the
($1 = 1.3523 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by