Aust shares edge higher at noon

ASX boards in Sydney
Losses in financial and tech shares weighed on the benchmark indices. -AAP Image

Australian shares have managed to edge higher midway through the session as gains in energy and mining stocks helped offset weakness in the financials and tech sectors.

By 1200 AEST, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 10.8 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 6,716.8, while the broader All Ordinaries was up 10.6 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 6,904.2.

Investors shrugged off a volatile session on Wall Street, with frontline local stocks boosted by higher oil and iron ore prices.

The energy sector was the best performer after oil prices rebounded more than $US2 a barrel on the prospect of tight supplies as the Group of Seven nations proposed a price cap on Russian oil as part of new economic sanctions on Moscow.

That helped Woodside and Santos lift nearly three per cent each, while Beach Energy rose five per cent and refiner Ampol notched up gains of two per cent.

Iron ore prices also lifted on easing COVID-19 restrictions in Shanghai and relaxed testing mandates in several Chinese cities, improving sentiment for the top miners.

BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals were all up between two and four per cent.

Gold producers also rebounded after sharp losses in the previous session, with Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources up 2.5 per cent and 4.8 per cent respectively.

Offsetting the gains, the heavyweight financials sector was under pressure, with each of the Big Four banks trading in negative territory.

Consumer stocks also lost ground, with retailers bearing the brunt of the losses. 

JB Hi-Fi, Wesfarmers and Flight Centre were each down more than three per cent.

Technology stocks also reversed gains from the previous session, with ASX-listed shares of Block slipping 4.2 per cent while Megaport and EML Payments slide more than six per cent each.

In stock specific news, shares in Tassal Group jumped nearly 14 per cent to $4.51 after the salmon farmer rejected a $1 billion takeover bid from Canadian aquaculture firm Cooke.

Shares in BWX sank 39 per cent to 71 cents after the owner of the Sukin range of beauty products downgraded full-year earnings and launched a heavily discounted equity raising to shore up capital.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 69.24 US cents, edging lower from 69.39 US cents at Monday's close.