April 16 (Reuters) – Australian stocks struggled for direction on Friday, a day after marking their highest close in nearly 14 months, as gains in mining and gold stocks battled losses in the energy name.
The S & P / ASX 200 index fell 0.07% to 7,054 in early trading, but is on track to post a fourth consecutive weekly gain.
Energy stocks were the biggest drag on the benchmark index, down 0.84%, even though crude hit a fresh four-week high on the improving outlook for demand.
Origin Energy Ltd led the losses on the sub-index with a 2.98% drop, after cutting its annual profit guidance for its energy markets division.
Gold stocks rose 3.7%, capping losses on the benchmark index. Silver Lake Resources Ltd jumped 5.6%, followed by Red 5 Ltd, up 5.41%.
Overnight, gold bullion prices peaked in more than a month as US Treasury yields slumped.
Australian miners rose as much as 0.7% after iron ore prices recovered from losses due to strong demand in the previous session.
Tech shares rose 0.7%, led by a 5.2% jump at Altium Ltd and a 2.3% gain in Appen, after a technology-led Wall Street rally sparked by falling bond yields and strong March US retail sales.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S & P / NZX 50 was up 0.38% to 12,684.6. Napier Port led the gains, up as much as 2.3%, as it raised its outlook on bright market conditions. (Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)