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Australia, NZ: Aussie shares close lower on weak oil prices while NZ edges up
[BENGALURU] Australian shares closed lower on Monday, dragged down by energy shares, after oil prices slipped on fears that producer countries meeting this week could fail to agree an output cut.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 43.4 points or 0.79 per cent to 5,464.4 at the close of trade.
Oil prices extended Friday's losses after disagreements between Opec and non-Opec crude exporters over the quantum of production cuts gave rise to fresh uncertainties.
To add to woes, Saudi Arabia's energy minister Khalid al-Falih said on Sunday that Saudi representatives would not attend the talks originally scheduled for Monday because no agreement within Opec had been reached so far.
Australia's energy index fell 1.93 per cent on the day. Oil majors Woodside Energy and Oil Search slipped 2.3 per cent and three per cent respectively.
Financials in Australia remained subdued as well, as investors assumed a wait-and-see stance to see if recent gains sustained.
All four 'Big Banks' closed in red, after last week's rally.
Major miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto slipped 1.2 per cent to 2.6 per cent.
Tech company NEXTDC Ltd was the biggest loser on the benchmark.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was flat, with an upside bias at 0.05 per cent or 3.34 points, finishing the session at 6,902.9, with utilities outperforming other sectors.
Sky Network Television was the biggest percent gainer on the index, up three per cent.
Airlines company, Air New Zealand ended the session two per cent higher, after oil prices fell.
In the opposite direction, Orion Health plummeted to a four-and-half year low after recording an operating loss for the first-half of 2017.