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Australian shares track Wall St higher; tech, gold stocks gain

* S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average close at record highs

* Investors await minutes from central bank’s March policy meeting

* Gold stocks benefit from rise in bullion prices

March 16 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose in early trade on Tuesday as tech and gold stocks advanced, and Wall Street rose overnight, with investors looking to minutes from the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy meeting.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.27% to 6,773 by 2315 GMT.

Overnight, the S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at record highs as hopes for a quicker economic recovery continued to be boosted by mass vaccinations and further stimulus in the United States.

Investors now await minutes from the Australian central bank’s March policy meeting, a day after governor Philip Lowe said it would maintain policy settings until it met its employment and inflation goals.

Tech stocks rose 1.3%, with accounting software maker Xero Ltd and investor services provider Computershare Ltd gaining 1% each.

Gold stocks gained 1% as prices of the yellow metal rose against retreating U.S. Treasury yields. Top independent gold miner Newcrest Mining was up 1.4%.

Export-reliant healthcare stocks also climbed on a weaker Australian dollar, with heavyweight CSL Ltd rising 0.8%.

Energy stocks, however, fell after oil prices declined. Oil and gas explorers Oil Search and Santos Ltd slipped 0.9% and 1%, respectively.

Shares of the real estate developer Dexus rose after it struck a deal to merge an unlisted property fund with a diversified real estate investment fund run by AMP Capital .

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell on losses among financial and industrial stocks. (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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