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Energy stocks push Australia shares higher, NZ rises

April 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged higher on Wednesday as energy stocks rose tracking an uptick in oil prices, though losses in gold and technology capped gains.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.11% to 7,041.5 points by 0027 GMT.

The top percentage gainer on the benchmark index was Ansell Ltd, rising 5.1% after projecting strong sales growth for the half year and full year.

The top percentage losers on the index were St Barbara Ltd , with a 7.6% fall, and JB Hi-Fi Ltd, losing 3.9%, as both companies reported disappointing earnings for the quarter.

Shares of Bingo Industries Ltd were the most traded by volume for the second day in a row, after it said on Tuesday it would be bought by funds managed by Macquarie Group for $1.8 billion.

Among sectors, energy stocks rose 0.7%, tracking gains in oil prices.

Viva Energy Group Ltd led gains with a 3.8% rise, building on Tuesday’s gains after it said it expected $15 million in government aid for refinery in the first quarter.

Financial stocks rose 0.74% led by QBE Insurance Group Ltd, up 2.28%, followed by Virgin Money UK PLC , gaining 2.03%.

Technology stocks fell 0.6% with Link Administration Holdings Ltd leading the losses with a 3.7% drop after a consortium including Carlyle Group and Pacific Equity Partners withdrew its bid for the company.

Miners fell 1.23% while gold stocks fell 2.28%. St Barbara Ltd was the top loser on both the indexes.

In other markets, Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.11% at 28,958.98, while S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 1.75 points, or 0.04%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.31% to 12,659.6. The top percentage losers on the index were SKY Network Television Ltd, down 2.84%, and Oceania Healthcare Ltd, losing 1.43%.

Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Krishna Chandra Eluri

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