Technology shares lead the battle to lift the ASX 200 on Wednesday

Following the lead of US markets, tech shares are doing their best to lift the ASX 200 out of the red this afternoon…

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The S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) has dipped into the red in early afternoon trade after a promising start this morning. At the time of writing, the benchmark index is trading 0.54% lower at 7,209.6 points. However, earlier, the Aussie index reached an intraday high of 7,279 points.

While there are some laggards weighing on the Australian share market today, the information technology sector is pulling its weight. This follows a strong showing by some of the world’s biggest tech companies during trade on the US market last night.

Let’s take a closer look.

What’s driving the ASX 200 today?

Though the tech sector is by far the best performing on the ASX market today, we can’t neglect other contributors to the ASX 200. Namely, the strong push of energy shares as oil and coal prices continue to move higher on supply concerns.

Consequently, the share prices of Whitehaven Coal Ltd (ASX: WHC), Santos Ltd (ASX: STO), and Oil Search Ltd (ASX: OSH) are all enjoying gains in excess of 2% on Wednesday.

Back to the top of tech shares — the high-flying sector is up 2.35% thanks to a handful of heavy hitters on the ASX. Firstly, in the top spot is buy now, pay later (BNPL) company Afterpay Ltd (ASX: APT). Shares in the instalment payment provider are up 4.05% after its expected acquirer, Square Inc (NYSE: SQ), climbed 4.3% higher overnight.

Close behind is Xero Limited (ASX: XRO) and TechnologyOne Ltd (ASX: TNE), up 3.4% and 3% respectively, despite no announcements from either of these companies.

Furthermore, it is worth mentioning the only tech companies in the ASX 200 that are in the red today are Iress Ltd (ASX: IRE), WiseTech Global Limited (ASX: WTC), and Altium Limited (ASX: ALU).

At the other end

As with most days on the Australian market, there are some companies struggling to keep up. On Wednesday, these names are spread across numerous industries.

For instance, the worst performer in the ASX 200 Index heading into lunch is Washington H Soul Pattinson & Co Ltd (ASX: SOL). We can also see Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd (ASX: FLT), The a2 Milk Company Ltd (ASX: A2M) and Ausnet Services Ltd (ASX: AST) rounding out the top four biggest fallers in the index so far today.

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Motley Fool contributor Mitchell Lawler owns shares of AFTERPAY T FPO. The Motley Fool Australia’s parent company Motley Fool Holdings Inc. owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO, Altium, Square, WiseTech Global, and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia owns shares of and has recommended AFTERPAY T FPO, Altium, Washington H. Soul Pattinson and Company Limited, WiseTech Global, and Xero. The Motley Fool Australia has recommended A2 Milk and Flight Centre Travel Group Limited. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Bruce Jackson.

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