* Benchmark index set for 0.5% weekly gain
* QBE Insurance down 3.3% on bigger-than-forecast annual loss
* Miners to add nearly 4% for the week
* NZ bourse set for 4th straight weekly loss
Feb 19 (Reuters) - Australian shares tracked Wall Street lower on Friday but were set to close the week higher on upbeat corporate earnings reports and bets of a swift global economic rebound.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.7% to 6,841.10 by 0030 GMT, weighed down by miners and financials.
However, it was on track to end the week 0.5% higher, boosted by a slew of strong earnings reports from blue-chip companies, particularly from iron ore mining giants, banks and consumer retail firms.
Overnight, all three major U.S. stock indexes ended lower as an unexpected rise in jobless claims and a slump in Big Tech firms weighed on the market.
In Australia, mining stocks fell 1.5% but were on track to add nearly 4% for the week boosted by strong earnings and record dividend payouts from iron ore giants.
BHP and Fortescue were down about 1% and 2.5% on Friday, while Rio Tinto lost as much as 2.6% in its biggest intraday drop since Jan. 29.
Rio is willing to enter a new agreement with Mongolia to expand its Oyu Tolgoi mine as the government requested, two sources said, as both parties look to resolve an impasse over the multibillion-dollar project.
Financials slipped 0.9% but were set to add about 1% for the week. QBE Insurance gave up 3.3% after it posted a bigger annual loss than it had forecast and skipped a final dividend as COVID-19-related provisions and catastrophe claims surged.
Meanwhile, biotech firm CSL lost 2.5%, giving up nearly all its gains from the previous session. Citi downgraded the plasma maker and flagged risks to its FY21 and FY22 earnings from the slowing pace of recovery of plasma collections.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped as much as 0.6% to 12,558.59. It was on track to post a fourth straight weekly decline, down 0.3%. (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)