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Australian shares edged up on Monday, supported by a jump in gold stocks after rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine spurred demand for safe-haven bullion, although a fall in technology stocks kept gains in check.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.4% at 7,242.3, as of 0002 GMT. The benchmark closed 1% lower on Friday.

Comments from the country's top central banker that rate hikes may start later this year kept a cap on risk appetite.

Australian shares mark worst day in 2 weeks as tech stocks weigh

Global markets have been rattled by the possibility that Russia could invade Ukraine at any time.

Among sub-indexes, Australian gold stocks led the gains, jumping as much as 6.2% to their highest level in three weeks, as bullion prices hit a near two-month peak. Index heavyweight Newcrest Mining climbed more than 5%.

Bullion is considered a hedge against soaring inflation and often used as a safe store of value during times of political and financial uncertainty.

Energy stocks were up nearly 3%, tracking an uptick in oil prices as escalating fears of an invasion of Ukraine by Russia, a top energy producer, added to concerns over tight global crude supplies.

Woodside Petroleum and Santos rose 3.3% and 4%, respectively.

The benchmark was also aided by a jump in shares of Beach Energy after the oil and gas explorer said its half-year profit surged 66% on the back of firmer oil prices.

On the downside, domestic tech stocks fell 1%, tracking US peers as Wall Street ended the previous session sharply lower amid Russia-Ukraine tensions. Australia's software firm Wisetech Global shed 2.7% on Monday.

Ledger electronics retailer JB Hi-Fi fell to its lowest level since last August after a disappointing earnings report.

In New Zealand, the benchmark was down 1% at 12,049.32 points, as of 0002 GMT.

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