SYDNEY, AAP – Buy now, pay later providers have plunged on the Australian market after a US watchdog moved to investigate whether the services harmed consumers.

Afterpay dropped seven per cent and Zip fell five per cent after reports the US Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will question the vendors over customer debts.

Sezzle was another provider doing worse and shed six per cent.

Yet the market was higher by almost half a per cent courtesy of gains in energy, materials and financials.

Higher oil prices helped energy shares after an upbeat economic outlook from the Federal Reserve.

Beach, Santos and Wooside each gained a little more than one per cent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 34 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 7329.7 points at 1200 AEDT on Friday.

The All Ordinaries was higher by 26.2 points, or 0.34 per cent, to 7644.7 points.

US markets closed lower. Investors sold shares in technology giants, which makeup a huge part of Wall Street trading, in view of the Federal Reserve bringing a faster end to its pandemic stimulus.

The Bank of England overnight became the first major central bank to raise interest rates since the beginning of the pandemic.

In Australia, Transurban will pay $2.22 billion more for Melbourne’s West Gate Tunnel project after a settlement between contractors and the Victorian government.

The dispute was about toxic soil discovered at the digging site.

The project, originally slated to be finished in 2022, has now been extended to 2025.

Shares were down 0.18 per cent to $13.63.

Lender MoneyMe climbed after buying rival SocietyOne for $132 million in shares.

MoneyMe shares were up 2.56 per cent to $1.80.

National Australia Bank chairman Philip Chronican says he is yet to hear of any fines from a watchdog investigating money laundering.

Mr Chronican told an annual general meeting he had not heard of any change to AUSTRAC comments that fines were not part of the probe.

Shares were up 0.59 per cent to $28.92.

The Commonwealth was best of the big banks and rose 2.27 per cent to $98.99.

In mining, BHP added 1.48 per cent to $41.26. Fortescue and Rio Tinto improved by less than one per cent each.

Sonic Healthcare has bought a US pathology provider which will help its laboratory business in that country.

However Sonic said the purchase was not material to its business and did not reveal the amount paid.

Shares were down 1.42 per cent to $43.60.

The Australian dollar was buying 71.77 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 71.56 US cents at Thursday’s close.