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REFILE-Tech stocks lead Australian benchmark higher amid Wall Street weakness

(Adds dropped word ‘Australian’ in headline)

April 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares were led higher by a jump in technology stocks on Tuesday, while losses in energy stocks and miners capped gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.29% to 6,994 points in early trade, off 3.1% from its lifetime high on Feb. 20, 2020. Buy-now-pay-later firm Zip Co was the top gainer on the benchmark after announcing upbeat quarterly results.

Zip said it was investing in both developed and developing markets to expand its global footprint and also made a soft launch into Canada, driven by U.S. merchants’ demand.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones industrial average ended lower on Monday, with investors waiting for cues from the upcoming corporate earnings season and a key inflation report later this week.

Overseas, S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.04%, while Nikkei futures rose 0.05%.

Australia’s technology stocks rose 1.48% led by electronics solutions developer Codan Ltd followed by Xero Ltd, both gaining over 2%.

Financial stocks rose 0.3% led by Zip Co Ltd , up 5.41%, followed by Netwealth Group Ltd, gaining 3.11%.

ASX 300 metals and mining index fell 0.02% led by Imdex Ltd, down 1.62%, followed by Nickel Mines Ltd , losing 1.59%.

ASX 200 Energy index fell 0.56% with Ampol Ltd being the biggest decliner at 1.88%, followed by Beach Energy Ltd, losing 1.17%.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose about 0.3% to 12560.1 with dairy firm Synlait Milk leading gains. The country’s central bank is set to leave interest rates unchanged on Wednesday.

Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Shailesh Kuber

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