* IT stocks set for best week since July 3
* Suncorp gains most in over two months
* NZ's Skellerup Holdings hits record high
Aug 21 (Reuters) - Australian shares gained on Friday after
Wall Street's spectacular rise overnight sparked similar
reaction domestically, while investors also cheered a dip in new
coronavirus cases in the country's second-most populous state.
The S&P/ASX 200 index added 0.5% by 0033 GMT. The
benchmark fell 0.8% in the previous session.
All the three major indices on Wall Street ended in the
positive territory overnight with the tech-savvy Nasdaq
finishing at a record high.
Technology stocks climbed about 1.3%, led by
Megaport, up 5.06%, followed by Nearmap,
Buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay extended gains into
the second session after it nearly doubled its annual core
earnings forecast on Wednesday.
Further fuelling optimism, the second-most populous state of
Victoria, which has become the country's COVID-19 hot spot,
reported its lowest daily rise in new cases in more than five
Financials rose 1.2% with the 'big-four' banks all
trading in the green.
Leading the gains on the local benchmark, Suncorp
soared over 7% after it reported a 421.7% increase in its annual
The Energy bourse rose 0.82% led by Santos,
up 2.33%, followed by Viva Energy Group, gaining
As of 0043 GMT, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index
rebounded 1.3%, wiping all the losses from the previous
session after a senior official said, central bank is watching
the country's labour market "very closely" to decide if negative
interest rates will be needed to further support the economy.
The index set for its best week since the week ended
The best performer on the benchmark index, polymer products
manufacturer Skellerup Holdings jumped to an all-time
high on strong annual results.
A2 Milk Co gained 3% after the dairy producer said it had
offered to buy a 75.1% stake in Mataura Valley Milk.
(Reporting by Deepali Saxena; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)