Tech stocks drag Australian shares lower; energy firms jump

Sept 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Tuesday, dragged by technology stocks, although the losses were limited by domestic energy stocks that rose on firmer oil prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.44% to 7,392.2 by 0030 GMT. It had risen 0.25% on Monday.

Among sub-indexes, technology stocks led the losses with their 1.36% drop. Nuix Ltd dropped 3.25% to be the top loser on the sectoral index, followed by TechnologyOne Ltd , declining 2.53%.

Financial stocks fell 0.56%. Westpac shed 0.3% after Papua New Guinea’s competition regulator decided to reject Kina Securities’ stake acquisition in its Pacific operations.

Bucking the trend, the top percentage gainers on the benchmark were Beach Energy Ltd, up 5.29%, followed by Woodside Petroleum Ltd, gaining 4.7%.

They were also the top gainers on the energy sub-index , which rose over 2% after oil prices rose to a six-week high.

Heavyweight energy stocks, including Beach Energy Ltd, Oil Search Ltd and Santos Ltd were the most heavily traded by volumes.

Gold stocks rose 0.83%, tracking an uptick in bullion prices. Gains were led by Dacian Gold Ltd, up 6.98%, followed by Pantoro Ltd, gaining 4.76%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.44% to 13,112.5.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei was up 0.33% at 30548.32 while the S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 4.75 points, or 0.11%. (Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)