* Gold stocks record worst day in over a week
* AMP gains on plans to spin off private markets business
* NZ up 0.6% (Updates to close)
April 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended marginally higher on Friday but recorded their first weekly loss in five, as a possible capital gains tax hike in the United States and surging coronavirus cases in parts of the world subdued risk sentiment.
The S&P/ASX 200 closed 0.08% higher at 7,060.70 points. The benchmark edged 0.04% lower for the week.
U.S. stocks dived overnight on reports President Joe Biden planned to almost double the capital gains tax, though broader Asian equities managed to shake off initial losses amid a lack of other major news.
“There is no talking point for share movement in the market,” said Dale Raynes, associate director at CPC Capital, adding there was a lack of direction following the index’s bounce on Thursday.
Rising coronavirus infections in major economies like India have dented hopes of a global economic rebound and partly led to losses in Australian equities this week.
A man in Australia tested positive for COVID-19 on Friday after finishing his hotel quarantine, raising concerns about community transmission as more virulent virus strains emerge.
Gold stocks lost 0.4%, recording their biggest intraday percentage loss since April 15.
Newcrest Mining was down 0.9% and Northern Star Resources fell more than 1% each.
“There was a big run in gold stocks yesterday, so maybe a little bit of profit taking is going on in those stocks,” Raynes said.
Financial stocks rose 0.4%. Platinum Asset Management gained 2.3% and Bank of Queensland added 1.6%.
Embattled wealth manager AMP rose as much as 7.5% after it ended talks to sell its asset management arm’s private markets business to Ares Management, and said it will spin off and re-brand the unit.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 rose 0.6% to 12650.64 points, but still finished the week 0.3% lower. (Reporting by Vasudha Kaukuntla in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri)