(Updates to close)
* ASX 200 closes at record high
* Tech stocks lead gains; gold shares drag
* CBA rallies for fifth straight session
Aug 10 (Reuters) - Technology companies helped Australian
stocks scale an all-time high on Tuesday, as Commonwealth Bank
rose ahead of its earnings, although worries over the spread of
COVID-19 infections in the country capped gains on the main
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.3% higher at a record
7,562.6 points. The benchmark has closed at a record high in
five of the seven sessions this month.
The market is being hit by the New South Wales coronavirus
case numbers, said Henry Jennings, senior analyst at the
Marcustoday Financial Newsletter.
New South Wales state reported 356 locally acquired cases of
COVID-19, its biggest daily rise in the pandemic, as officials
scramble to contain the virus that has now spread to the
northern parts of the state.
Investor focus is now on companies' results as the earnings
season kicked off this week.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia rose 1.5%, extending
a four-day winning streak, ahead of its annual results on
Wednesday, when it is expected to announce a large share
Its peer Westpac Banking Corp also gained nearly
The world's largest fibre cement maker, James Hardie
Industries, rose 5.8% to hit a record high after
raising its annual profit forecast range, supported by a booming
U.S. housing market.
Tech stocks were among the top gainers, with buy
now, pay later pioneer Afterpay leading gains and
ending the session with a 3.2% rise.
Gold stocks were the biggest drags on the index,
falling 1.5%, after the precious metal slumped to a more than
four-month low overnight.
Lithium miners Pilbara Minerals and Orocobre Ltd
were among the biggest percentage gainers on the
benchmark index, rising about 11% and 8.7%, respectively.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index rose 0.5% to 12,764.2 points.
($1 = 1.3641 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Indranil Sarkar in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy