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