Australia shares rise on financials, tech boost

06/30/2022 | 09:07pm

July 1 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Friday after sharp declines in the last two sessions, with financials and technology stocks leading gains, although subdued mining and energy stocks due to weaker commodity prices capped gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed as much as 0.8% to 6623.9 by 0040 GMT. The benchmark slipped 2% on Thursday.

Australian bourse, up 0.5% for the week so far, is also set to post a second straight weekly gain.

Financials led gains among sectors, advancing as much as 1.4%, with the country's "Big Four" banks adding between 0.5% and 2%.

Technology stocks followed suit to rise as much as 2%, snapping a three-session losing streak. The sub-index, however, has lost more than 1% this week.

Shares of buy now pay later (BNPL) firm Zip and accounting software producer Xero gained as much as 10.2% and 2.7%, respectively.

Shares of Australian BNPL firm Openpay soared 20.8% after the company said it will "indefinitely" pause its U.S. operations and "materially" reduce its workforce.

However, domestic miners gave up 1.2% after iron ore prices tumbled on top-steel producer China's demand constraints.

The sub-index is on track to end in red for a fourth straight week, losing 0.9% so far.

Mining trio BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue lost between 1% and 2%.

Energy stocks also skidded 1% on falling oil prices, with sector heavyweights Woodside Energy and Santos dropping 1.4% and 1.6%, respectively.

The sub-index, however, is on track to post its first weekly gain in three, up 2.8% so far.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index added 0.2% at 10893.7, after falling for two sessions. The benchmark has gained 0.5% this week.

(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

© Reuters 2022
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