June 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged higher on
Thursday, helped by firmer technology and healthcare stocks,
with the focus turning to U.S. inflation data due this week that
could impact monetary policies globally.
The benchmark ASX 200 index rose 0.2% to 7,284.8 by
In other markets, Wall Street ended lower overnight, Japan's
Nikkei rose 0.3%, and the S&P 500 E-minis futures
were up or 0.1%.
Australia's central bank said on Wednesday inflation is
unlikely to meet its target range until 2024 at the earliest.
The easing in expectations of a sharp jump in inflation
boosted technology stocks. Its sub-index rose 1.2%, with
top gainer Altium Ltd gaining 2.7%. Index heavyweight
Afterpay Ltd added 0.5%.
Healthcare stocks led the gains on the benchmark,
rising 1.6% to their highest since December last year.
Biotech major CSL Ltd advanced about 1.6% to be one
of the best performers on the sub-index.
The gold index gained 0.6% even as bullion prices
were slightly lower. Gold miners Newscrest Mining and
Nortern Star rose 0.4%-1%.
Capping gains, however, were energy stocks as they
led losses on the benchmark by slipping 0.8%. The subindex as
set for its worst session since May 31. Oil and gas producers
Woodside Petroleum and Santos Ltd fell 0.6%
and 1.4%, respectively.
Miners also eased, with majors Rio Tinto,
BHP Group and Fortescue Metals declining
around 1% each.
Shipbuilder Austal Ltd lost 3.5% to be the worst
performer on the bourse as regulator ASIC commenced civil
penalty proceedings against it on failure of disclosures.
Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index
traded up 0.2% to 12,584.8.
(Reporting by Yamini C S in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)