* Energy stocks rose due to rising oil prices
* Healthcare stocks benefited from a weaker Aussie dollar
* Cboe Global Markets buys ASX competitor, Chi-X Australia
March 25 (Reuters) – Australian stocks traded flat early Thursday as gains in the energy and health care sectors were offset by losses among tech stocks that followed their Wall Street counterparts’ decline.
The S & P / ASX 200 index is flat at 6,778.8, at 2323 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.5% higher on Wednesday.
The three major US indexes fell in overnight trading as optimism about the economic recovery by Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen was unable to stop technology stocks’ decline for a second straight day.
Nikkei futures were up 0.04%, S&P 500 E-minis futures were up 0.14% and the benchmark 10-year Treasury yield was up to 1.6137%.
Energy stocks rose 0.9% as oil prices surged after a ship ran aground on the Suez Canal, potentially tying up global crude shipments.
Gas explorers Woodside Petroleum Ltd and Santos Ltd rose 1.3% and 2.4%, respectively.
Export-dependent health care stocks extended gains as the Australian dollar weakened. A weaker local currency helps the company’s revenue-generating in US dollars.
Drug developer CSL Ltd and diagnostic service provider Sonic Healthcare gained 0.4% and 1.9%, respectively.
Australian tech stocks fell 1.4%, with buy-now-pay-later Afterpay and artificial intelligence developer Appen down 2.9% and 1.9%, respectively.
The mining sub-index traded slightly lower, with global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto losing 0.7% and 0.9%, respectively.
Meanwhile, exchange operator Cboe Global Markets Inc said on Thursday it would acquire operator Chi-X Australia, the country’s second-largest securities exchange and the only competitor of ASX Ltd.
ASX Ltd shares fell as much as 1.6% in early trading.
New Zealand’s benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index edged up 0.3%, helped by gains among technology and industrial shares.
Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips