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Australia shares close at lowest in over 3 weeks; NZ down

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares closed 0.84 per cent lower on Monday as US Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen's speech last week underscoring the imminence of a rate hike in the near-term soured the mood.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index ended the session down 46.27 points to 5,469.20 points, its lowest close since Aug 3.

The benchmark was dragged down by energy and consumer cyclicals, with oil producer Woodside Petroleum and retailer Wesfarmers Ltd shedding 2.83 per cent and 3.32 per cent respectively.

Aged care facilities provider Estia Health Ltd, the biggest loser on the index, plunged to a record low after its full-year earnings missed forecasts.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index lost 0.33 per cent, or 24.04 points, to finish the session at 7,367.26.

The financial sector, the benchmark's biggest constituent, lost 1.17 per cent.

Westpac Banking Corp finished 1.27 per cent lower, while Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd lost 1.15 per cent.