The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.17% to 7,348.1 points, but was held back by major banks and technology firms.
The Australian state of Victoria was ordered into a five-day lockdown on Thursday following a spike in COVID-19 infections, joining Sydney as they battle an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant.
The healthcare sector, that makes a bulk of its earnings in U.S. dollars, was the top gainer on the benchmark index, closing 0.7% higher as the greenback advanced overnight.
Shares in the world’s largest-listed miner BHP Group also scaled a peak as iron ore futures ticked higher and as brokerages expect the miner to gain from increased iron ore shipments and higher prices.
Major mining stocks closed 0.04% higher as iron ore prices rose.
While miner Fortescue Metals advanced as much as 0.9%, the world’s top iron ore producer, Rio Tinto, skidded as much as 1.5% following its quarterly production report.
Australian gold miners closed 1.2% lower, even as the precious metal was headed for a fourth straight weekly gain.
The country’s biggest listed gold miner, Newcrest Mining , tumbled as much as 0.9%.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was flat at 12673.2.
New Zealand’s consumer price index beat expectations in the second quarter, soaring the most in about a decade, leading to more bets that the central bank may tighten policy as early as August.
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