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Banks and healthcare stocks lift Australian shares

10/06/2021 | 08:43pm EST

Oct 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Thursday after two straight sessions of falls, although energy stocks limited the recovery led by banks and healthcare companies as crude oil prices retreated from multi-year highs.

The benchmark ASX 200 index was up 0.2% at 7,223.8, as of 0058 GMT, after rising as much as 0.7% to 7,259.20 earlier in the day.

Heavyweight banks climbed 0.7%, led by a 2.9% rise in Janus Henderson Group PLC and a 2.3% gain in Hub24 Ltd.

Westpac Banking Corp, National Australia Bank , and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group advanced between 0.3% and 1.1%.

Healthcare firms were the second-biggest boost to the benchmark index with a rise of more than 1%. CSL Ltd and Sonic Healthcare jumped 1% and 4.2%, respectively.

Tech stocks advanced 1.7% and were on track for a second consecutive session of gain, with buy-now-pay-later (BNPL) giant Afterpay adding 2.6%.

Openpay Group jumped 12.9% and was headed for its best session since June 22 after securing a $271 million debt funding ahead of the launch of its BNPL services in the United States.

Gold stocks gained 1.3% as bullion prices ticked up overnight on the back of a retreat in U.S. Treasury yields. Dacian Gold Ltd jumped 5.1%, while ASX-listed AngloGold Ashanti Ltd gained 3.8%.

Energy stocks fell 1.6% after oil prices dropped nearly 2% on Wednesday. Woodside Petroleum slipped 2.2%, while Beach Energy Ltd lost 3.9%.

Meanwhile, Wall Street ended higher overnight as investors grew more optimistic that congressional leaders could reach a deal to avert a government debt default.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down 0.3% at 13,166.4. Elsewhere, S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.27%.

(Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AFTERPAY LIMITED -1.54% 108.85 End-of-day quote.-7.75%
BEACH ENERGY LIMITED -0.42% 1.185 End-of-day quote.-34.35%
CSL LIMITED -0.07% 306.79 End-of-day quote.8.34%
DACIAN GOLD LIMITED -2.38% 0.205 End-of-day quote.-50.00%
HUB24 LIMITED 0.76% 29.31 End-of-day quote.37.35%
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED 0.37% 27.3 End-of-day quote.20.80%
OPENPAY GROUP LTD -3.94% 0.975 End-of-day quote.-56.86%
SONIC HEALTHCARE LIMITED 0.00% 42.7 End-of-day quote.32.81%
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION -1.91% 20.52 End-of-day quote.5.94%
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD 0.89% 21.43 End-of-day quote.-5.76%
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