Australian shares rise on upbeat corporate earnings, tech push

Aug 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares rose on Friday as a handful of upbeat earnings reports and firmer technology stocks outweighed losses in miners and energy names.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.6% to 7,511.3 points by 0045 GMT, after having fallen 0.5% on Thursday.

Tech stocks rose 0.8%, tracking its Wall Street peers higher. Electronics equipment maker Codan Ltd led the gains, which rose as much as 4% after reporting an over 50% profit jump in fiscal 2021.

Financials were up 0.8% with the “Big Four” banks gaining between 0.04% and 1.2%.

Inghams group rose as much as 9% and was among the top gainers on the benchmark index. The poultry producer reported a two-fold jump in its statutory net profit.

Gold stocks, however, slid 1.6% as bullion prices eased. Heavyweight miner Newcrest Mining was down 2.8% while West African Resources fell 2.4%.

Miners were down 0.4% to their lowest level in over four months on subdued commodity prices.

The top three miners, BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals fell between 0.5% and 1.2%

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was marginally down 0.03% to 12,954.18 points

Two positive COVID-19 cases were detected in New Zealand’s capital of Wellington and the government is due to decide whether it would extend or end the snap lockdown declared earlier this week. (Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)