ASX still ahead on health, tech gains

The Australian share market has opened higher as the tech and healthcare sectors led early gains.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 43.5 points, or 0.65 per cent, to 6,761.0 points at 1030 AEST on Friday, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 43.1 points, or 0.63 per cent, to 6,868.3 points.

The tech sector added 1.58 per cent and healthcare shares collectively rose 1.16 per cent in the first half hour of trading.

Afterpay was up 1.68 per cent, Appen gained 1.76 per cent and Xero climbed 2.92 per cent.

Pharma giant CSL was up 1.09 per cent, Nanosonics jumped 2.37 per cent, Sonic Healthcare was 1.11 per cent higher, Cochlear gained 1.01 per cent and ResMed added 0.56 per cent.

Every sector of the ASX started the day in positive territory, with energy stocks recording the smallest rise.

Mining giant BHP was up 0.50 per cent to $37.87, Rio Tinto was down 0.61 per cent to $92.47 and Fortescue Metals was down 1.11 per cent to $8.94.

The big four banks were higher, with ANZ up 0.25 per cent to $27.90, Commonwealth up 0.24 per cent to $82.38, NAB up 0.41 per cent to $29.44 and Westpac up 0.37 per cent to $29.68.

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank was up 0.52 per cent, Bank of Queensland was up 0.72 per cent and Macquarie Group was up 0.47 per cent.

Premier Investments was up 13 per cent after the retail owner posted a 27.7 per cent increase in full year profit.

Pushpay was up 1.27 per cent as the app payment developer for churches, schools and education providers raised its guidance.

It was a mixed session on Wall Street overnight, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average finishing down 0.19 per cent, the S&P 500 closing flat and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite up 0.07 per cent.

The Bank of England and the Swiss National Bank left interest rates on hold overnight while the Norwegian central bank raised its policy rate by 25 basis points.

The Aussie dollar is buying 67.89 US cents, up from 67.81 US cents on Thursday.


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