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Australia shares rise as tech stocks track Wall Street peers higher

02/09/2021 | 08:44pm

* CBA HY profit beats estimates

* IAG set for best day in 10 months after HY results

* Northern Star Resources lifts gold index

Feb 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Wednesday, led by technology stocks as they mirrored sharp gains among their Wall Street peers overnight, while strong domestic earnings reports also boosted sentiment.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.4% to 6,846.60 by 0110 GMT, with gains across the board. The benchmark slid 0.6% on Tuesday.

Overnight, the tech-heavy Nasdaq hit a record high for the fifth session in a row, boosted by gains in tech giants Apple, Amazon.com and Alphabet.

This helped Australia's technology sector gain over 2%, with Afterpay rising 2.3% and Wisetech advancing 1.8%.

Shares of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) jumped as much as 1.2%, after the country's largest lender declared a higher dividend than from six months ago as it beat first-half cash profit estimates.

The stock, however, later erased all gains to fall more than 1%.

The heavyweight financial index gained as much as 2%, helped by Insurance Australia Group's near 6% jump, its biggest intraday percentage rise in 10 months, after the insurer posted better-than-expected half yearly core earnings.

Gold stocks strengthened nearly 2%, buoyed by Northern Star Resources' over 5% gain, after the gold miner reported a 46% rise in half-year net profit attributable and declared an interim dividend of 9.5 Australian cents per share.

The energy sub-index gained over 1%, boosted by stronger oil prices. Oil prices rose on Tuesday for a seventh straight session to hit a 13-month high.

Viva Energy advanced about 6%, while Origin Energy added 1.8%.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.4% to 12,876.65.

Top losers were Meridian Energy and Restaurant Brands New Zealand, falling 3.7% and 2.4%, respectively.

(Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

© Reuters 2021
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