Australia shares slip on tech, healthcare losses

Australia shares slip on tech, healthcare losses

Australian shares closed slightly lower on Monday as losses in healthcare and tech stocks outweighed gains in miners, while Macquarie Group jumped after raising its profit guidance.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.19 per cent lower at 6,780.9, extending a slide from last week, as investors waited for the likes of Oil Search, WoolworthsGroup, Qantas Airways and Lynas Rare Earths to report their earnings results later this week.

Shares of exports-reliant healthcare companies fell 2.2 per cent as the Australian dollar hit its highest since early 2018 against the U.S. dollar.

A stronger local currency hits earnings of companies earning in U.S. dollars.

Heavyweight drug developer CSL Ltd and medical device maker Resmed Inc lost 2.4 per cent and 2.2 per cent, respectively.

Tech stocks fell 1.7 per cent, with telecom co Telstra Corp and real estate website operator REA Group declining 1.5 per cent and 2 per cent, respectively.

Mining stocks rose 3.3 per cent as copper prices soared to levels unseen in nearly a decade on demand optimism and a weaker U.S. dollar.

BHP Group and Rio Tinto advanced 3.3 per cent and 3.6 per cent, respectively, while OZ Minerals jumped 7 per cent.

Gold stocks soared 2 per cent as bullion prices rose on a weaker greenback.

Gold explorers De Grey Mining and Emerald Resources jumped 10.1 per cent and 8.2 per cent, respectively.

Macquarie Group Ltd rose 3.4 per cent after the company said it expected its full-year profit to jump due to demand for heating caused by extreme weather in North America.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 1 per cent to 12,426.2, weighed down by losses in healthcare and utility stocks.

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