April 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged higher on
Wednesday as energy stocks rose tracking an uptick in oil
prices, though losses in gold and technology capped gains.
The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.11% to 7,041.5 points
by 0027 GMT.
The top percentage gainer on the benchmark index was Ansell
Ltd, rising 5.1% after projecting strong sales growth
for the half year and full year.
The top percentage losers on the index were St Barbara Ltd
, with a 7.6% fall, and JB Hi-Fi Ltd, losing
3.9%, as both companies reported disappointing earnings for the
Shares of Bingo Industries Ltd were the most traded
by volume for the second day in a row, after it said on Tuesday
it would be bought by funds managed by Macquarie Group for $1.8
Among sectors, energy stocks rose 0.7%, tracking
gains in oil prices.
Viva Energy Group Ltd led gains with a 3.8% rise,
building on Tuesday's gains after it said it expected $15
million in government aid for refinery in the first quarter.
Financial stocks rose 0.74% led by QBE Insurance
Group Ltd, up 2.28%, followed by Virgin Money UK PLC
, gaining 2.03%.
Technology stocks fell 0.6% with Link Administration
Holdings Ltd leading the losses with a 3.7% drop after
a consortium including Carlyle Group and Pacific Equity
Partners withdrew its bid for the company.
Miners fell 1.23% while gold stocks fell
2.28%. St Barbara Ltd was the top loser on both the indexes.
In other markets, Japan's Nikkei was down 0.11% at
28,958.98, while S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 1.75
points, or 0.04%.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
0.31% to 12,659.6. The top percentage losers on the index were
SKY Network Television Ltd, down 2.84%, and Oceania
Healthcare Ltd, losing 1.43%.
(Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna