Aug 31 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose slightly for a
second straight session on Tuesday, led by mining and technology
stocks, although the gains were capped by weakness in
heavyweight banking stocks.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.1% to 7,510.3 by 0039
GMT, after having closed 0.2% higher on Monday.
Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei fell 0.33%, while S&P 500
E-minis futures were up 0.1%.
Domestic technology stocks tracked a strong finish
on Wall Street overnight after sentiment there was lifted from
last week's dovish comments from the U.S Federal Reserve.
Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay Ltd added 1.3%,
while aerial imagery firm Nearmap Ltd rose 1.9%.
A sub-index of miners added 0.5%, with global miner
Rio Tinto and rival BHP Group Ltd adding 0.4%
and 0.3%, respectively.
Heavyweight financials dropped 0.5%, with all of the
country's "Big Four" banks Commonwealth Bank of Australia
, National Australia Bank, Australia and New
Zealand Banking Group and Westpac Banking Corp
shedding between 0.2% and 0.4%.
Healthcare stocks gained on a jump of 1% in CSL Ltd
, the biggest company on the sub-index. Shares of the
biotechnology company hit its highest since Nov. 25, 2020.
Meanwhile, COVID-19 cases in Australia continued to rise,
with New South Wales the epicentre of the country's current
outbreak declaring a record 1,290 new cases on Monday. Its
premier Gladys Berejiklian said intensive care cases in the
state will hit a peak in October.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was
up 0.3% at 13,226.55, with healthcare and utility stocks leading
gains in the region.
SKY Network Television Ltd added 4.6% to hit its
highest since April 19. The stock was also the top gainer on the
(Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; editing by