October 25, 2019 / 1:39 AM / a month ago

Healthcare shares lift Australia market; NZ up, but faces big weekly loss

* Resmed leads gains after strong results

* ASX 200 set for third straight week of gains

* NZ50 set to lose nearly 2% this week

By Ambar Warrick

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Healthcare stocks led gains in Australian shares on Friday after strong results from medical device-maker Resmed, while the broader market tracked overnight gains by most Wall Street indexes amid optimism over corporate earnings.

The S&P/ASX 200 index rose 0.7% or 44 points to 6,737.60 by 0053 GMT. The benchmark was set to rise a third straight week, as a better-than-expected U.S. earnings season helped ease fears of slowing economic growth.

More than 80% of the 168 S&P 500 companies reporting quarterly results have beaten profit expectations, according to Refinitiv data. The Nasdaq index ended 0.8 higher on Thursday following strong reports from several technology companies.

Bets for an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve next week also surged after weak economic data.

In Australia, healthcare stocks rose 1.6% and were the biggest boost to the ASX 200. The subindex was about 1% off its record high touched last week.

Local shares of San Diego-based Resmed Inc led gains after its quarterly results beat expectations, causing the stock surge 15% to a record high.

Index heavyweight CSL Ltd gained more than 1%, while hearing devices maker Cochlear Ltd rose 1.8%.

Gold stocks advanced 1.9% after bullion prices rose on expectations of monetary policy trimming from the Fed.

Newcrest Mining Ltd, the largest listed gold miner in Australia, moved up about 1.5%.

Broader mining stocks rose 0.6%, tracking strength in iron ore and copper prices. BHP Group and Rio Tinto , the largest miners on the ASX 200, increased about 0.1% and 0.7%, respectively.

The mining subindex was on track to add 2.8% for the week, which would be the biggest gain since late August.

Technology stocks rose about 1.6%. The best performer was software developer Bravura Solutions Ltd, up 3.8%.

Cleanaway Waste Management Ltd dropped 13.4% and was the worst performer on the ASX 200 after forecasting flat earnings for the first half of fiscal 2020.

Smaller rival Bingo Industries Ltd fell nearly 5%.

New Zealand shares edged up slightly, but were set to shed nearly 2% for the week after earlier losses in major power retailers.

The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.2% or 18.83 points to 10,850.35.

Meridian Energy Ltd, the biggest energy retailer, edged up 0.2%, but was on track for its worst week in three years.

Synlait Milk rose 0.4% after it said it would buy a private dairy firm. (Reporting by Ambar Warrick in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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