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Australian shares inch higher as gold stocks shine; NZ rises

June 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose in early trade on Tuesday, helped by gold miners, although the gains were capped by weakness in other mining stocks and a subdued finish on Wall Street overnight.

The S&P/ASX 200 index climbed 0.3% to 7,302.3, after having closed slightly lower on Monday.

Gold miners dominated gains on the Australian benchmark, rising as much as 1%. Sector heavyweight Newcrest Mining advanced as much as 1.2%, while Northern Star Resources rose nearly 1%.

Gold hovered near the key level of $1,900 an ounce on Tuesday, as the dollar slid and bond yields weakened, with investors awaiting U.S. inflation data later this week.

Denting sentiment, however, the S&P 500 ended a languid session slightly in the red, with investors standing by on news of a global minimum corporate tax rate, lingering inflation fears, and a lack of market-moving economic news.

Among individual stocks and sectors in Australia, tech stocks tracked the Nasdaq higher, gaining up to 0.6% to hit their highest levels in a month.

Buy-now-pay-later juggernaut Afterpay rose nearly 1.6%, while intelligence firm Nearmap added as much as 3.1%.

In the financial sub-index, top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia was down 0.2%. The other big banks rose between 0.6% and 0.9%.

Miners fell up to 0.6% as softer iron ore prices weighed.

The big miners Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals were all down more than 1%.

Among individual stocks, software maker Altium’s shares dipped 4.7% after surging as much as 40.6% on Monday. The stock was among biggest percentage losers on the benchmark.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index traded 0.3% higher.

Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V

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