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Australia shares flat as healthcare, tech stocks cap gains in miners

05/06/2021 | 09:09pm EDT

May 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares were nearly flat on Friday, as losses in healthcare and tech stocks offset gains in blue-chip miners buoyed by surging commodity prices.

The S&P/ASX 200 index edged up 0.03% to 7,063.8 as of 0020 GMT, but it was on track to post a 0.5% weekly jump.

Heavyweight miners were the top percentage gainers, advancing 1% led by SSR Mining, up 7.3% and Red 5 , gaining 5.3%.

Iron ore mining giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto added as much as 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively, marking their fourth consecutive gain session.

Benchmark iron ore futures surged about 7% on Thursday after a five-day Labour Day holiday on demand prospects, and copper jumped 1.4%, extending gains from previous session's 10-year peak.

Banks traded flat, with Omni Bridgeway, down 2.82%, and QBE Insurance Group losing 1.81%.

Macquarie Group jumped 0.6% after the financial conglomerate posted a record annual profit boosted by volatile trading and surging electricity prices due to extreme cold weather conditions in some states in the United States.

Technology stocks were the top percentage loser, shedding as much as 1.4% led by EML Payments and Nuix , losing more than 3% each.

Healthcare firms fell more than 1%, with heavyweights CSL Ltd and local shares of Resmed Inc declining 1.4% and 2%, respectively.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged higher to 12,752.9, with losses in healthcare and utilities offsetting gains in banks.

The top percentage gainers were Z Energy and Kathmandu Holdings, advancing about 1.4% each, while dairy giant Fonterra lost as much as 13.4% after it proposed an overhaul to its capital structure.

In other markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.3% at 29,247.99, and the S&P 500 E-minis futures edged lower.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP -0.23% 38.48 End-of-day quote.-9.31%
CSL LIMITED -1.01% 294.65 End-of-day quote.4.05%
EML PAYMENTS LIMITED 0.63% 3.17 End-of-day quote.-24.16%
FONTERRA CO-OPERATIVE GROUP LIMITED 1.28% 3.17 End-of-day quote.-27.79%
KATHMANDU HOLDINGS LIMITED -0.63% 1.59 End-of-day quote.24.22%
MACQUARIE GROUP LIMITED 0.94% 197.84 End-of-day quote.42.87%
NIKKEI 225 -1.87% 28708.58 Real-time Quote.6.60%
NUIX LIMITED -1.00% 2.97 End-of-day quote.-64.00%
OMNI BRIDGEWAY LIMITED -0.88% 3.36 End-of-day quote.-21.86%
QBE INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED 0.76% 11.87 End-of-day quote.39.16%
RED 5 LIMITED 3.77% 0.275 End-of-day quote.5.77%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.16% 7402.2 Real-time Quote.12.55%
Z ENERGY LIMITED 0.00% 3.62 End-of-day quote.13.13%
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