Australia shares unchanged as miners, energy stocks offset gains in banks


April 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares were little changed on Friday, looking past a weak finish overnight on Wall Street, as selling in local miners and energy firms offset gains in banks and healthcare companies.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO was largely unchanged at 7,053.90 by 0050 GMT. It was on track to lose about 0.2% for the week, snapping a four-week winning streak.

All three major U.S. indexes finished about 1% lower on Thursday following reports that President Joe Biden planned to double the capital gains tax and raise income taxes on the wealthy. .N

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei .N225 declined 1.36%, while MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS closed 0.4% higher overnight. .TMKTS/GLOB

In Australia, miners .AXMM were the biggest drags on the benchmark, losing 1%, with mining giants BHP Group BHP.AX and Rio Tinto RIO.AX falling about 1.8%.

Energy firms .AXEJ were down 0.6%, with Oil Search OSH.AX leading the losses as it shed 1.6% on slashing its 2021 investment expense.

Financial stocks .AXFJ edged higher. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group ANZ.AX and National Australia Bank NAB.AX added 0.4% and 0.6%, respectively.

Troubled wealth manager AMP AMP.AX jumped to the top of the index, advancing 7.6%, after it announced plans of a spin off and re-branding of its unit AMP Capital's private markets business, ending talks with Ares Management ARES.N to sell the business.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 swung between positive and negative territory, and was little changed as of 0015 GMT. It was on track to lose 0.8% for the week.

The top percentage gainer on the benchmark was Mercury NZ Ltd MCY.NZ, adding 3.28%, while top loser was Vista Group International VGL.NZ, slipping 2.6%.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


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