* U.S. CPI and ECB meeting on Thursday in focus
* Tech stocks biggest gainers on Australian benchmark
* Rio Tinto, BHP, Fortescue close in the red
* SkyCity's NZ shares close at 1-1/2-month low
June 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Tuesday,
underpinned by technology and healthcare stocks, although the
benchmark index retreated from a record peak scaled earlier in
the session as investors awaited U.S. economic data due this
week to gauge inflationary pressure.
The S&P/ASX 200, which rose 0.5% in early trade,
closed firmer at 7,292.6. The benchmark ended 0.2% lower on
Tracking an overnight climb in the tech-heavy Nasdaq
, Australian technology stocks closed 1.5% higher and
were the top gainers in the benchmark.
Buy-now-pay-later giant Afterpay closed 0.9%
higher, while EML Payments ended at its higehst in more
than three weeks.
Healthcare stocks also advanced, with sector
heavyweight CSL Ltd adding 0.9%.
However, the broader market took cues from a largely languid
overnight session on Wall Street, as investors awaited key
inflation data from the United States this week before making
"The expectation remains that higher interest rates or
inflationary pressures aren't necessarily on the immediate
horizon, but we are seeing a bit of 'wait and see' mode at the
moment," CommSec market analyst James Tao said.
Miners were the biggest drag in the benchmark as
iron ore prices tumbled overnight after China's subdued trade
data for May and doubts over demand for the steelmaking
Mining giants Rio Tinto and BHP closed
down 0.9% and 1%, respectively, while Fortescue Metals
ended at a 1-1/2-week low.
Meanwhile, shares of Nuix dropped 1.8% after local
media reported that Australia's financial services regulator
sent notices to the Macquarie-backed software provider and
Macquarie relating to a regulatory probe.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50, trading after an
extended weekend break, closed 0.2% higher at 12,517.65.
Casino operator SkyCity Entertainment lost 5.7% to
close at its lowest in 1-1/2 months, following reports that
Australia's financial crimes regulator would probe the company's
(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry