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Miners and banks push Australia shares higher

April 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares were buoyed on Thursday by the mining, banking and technology sectors, although losses in energy stocks following an overnight drop in crude prices capped the gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.5% to 7,033.2 by 0045 GMT, after shedding about 1% in the previous two sessions.

Among other markets, Japan’s Nikkei rose 1.17%. S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.25%, while all three major U.S. indexes finished higher overnight.

The tech-heavy Nasdaq added 1.2%, outshining the S&P 500 in percentage gain shortly before the closing bell.

In Australia, the top gainers were royalty investment firm Deterra Royalties, up 6.34%, and nickel-gold miner IGO , which rose about 3%.

Technology stocks were the top percentage gainers, advancing as much as 1.1%. Data analytics firm Nuix added 1.9%, while Megaport gained 1.3%.

Financials rose 0.6%, with all the Big Four lenders advancing between 0.4% and 0.8%.

Miners were up 0.7%, helped by BHP Group and Rio Tinto, which added about 0.9% each.

Energy stocks declined about 2%, with Oil Search and Woodside Petroleum shedding about 2.5% each, as oil prices fell to their lowest in a week overnight.

Australia’s top independent gas producer, Woodside, saw its March-quarter production dip slightly from a year earlier, even as an 8% rise in sales volume led to a jump in sales revenue.

Meanwhile, AGL Energy hit record low after its chief executive officer resigned just less than a month after the power producer announced its plans to split its businesses into two.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.36% to 12,579.9, rebounding from two consecutive days of losses.

The top percentage gainers were Fisher & Paykel Healthcare and Synlait Milk, up as much as 2% each. (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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