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
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%,
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
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)