* Export-reliant healthcare rises as Australian dollar
* Rio Tinto forms indigenous advisory group, shares rise
* AGL Energy extends gains for third straight session
March 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares opened higher on
Tuesday, with healthcare leading the gains, as the benchmark
index tracked an overnight rally on Wall Street after U.S.
technology stocks rebounded from a recent selloff sparked by
surging bond yields.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.22% at 6,752.5 points
by 2330 GMT. The index closed 0.7% higher on Monday.
The three major U.S. indexes rose between 0.3% and 1.2%,
with the tech-heavy Nasdaq outpacing its peers. A climb
in Treasury yields have being weighing on high-flying technology
stocks since mid-February.
Shares of export-reliant healthcare stocks rose 1%
as the Australian dollar weakened. A weaker local currency tends
to help healthcare companies earning in U.S. dollars.
Medical devices maker Resmed Inc gained 1.7%, and
drugmaker CSL Ltd was up 0.6%.
Technology stocks mirrored their Wall Street peers
to rise 0.7%, with buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay
and artificial intelligence firm Appen Ltd advancing
1.2% and 0.9%, respectively.
The mining sub-index was also trading higher, with
heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto Ltd
gaining 1.4% and 0.6%, respectively.
Rio Tinto said on Tuesday it would form an indigenous
advisory group to improve protocols to manage indigenous
culture, months after destruction of a sacred heritage site for
Utility stocks advanced 1.4%, with power supplier
AGL Energy extending gains for a third consecutive
The number of issues on the ASX that advanced were 703 while
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.5%,
largely helped by gains among utility and industrial stocks.
(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry