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Australia shares dragged down by financials, energy stocks; NZ lower

Tuesday, February 7, 2017 - 10:28

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares were slightly lower on Tuesday, in line with Wall Street, as gains in gold and industrial stocks offset losses in the financial and energy stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4 per cent, or 24.87 points to 5,590.70 by 0119 GMT.

Bank stocks suffered the most in the region taking their cue from the US financial sector, with the financial benchmark declining as much as 1.3 per cent, to its lowest in nearly two months.

"There is a correlation between what is happening in the US banks overnight and the Aussie banks," says Chris Weston, an institutional dealer at IG Markets.

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The S&P 500 financial index closed 0.4 per cent lower overnight.

The "Big Four" banks fell 0.8 to 1.2 per cent, while Macquarie Group Ltd shed 2.8 per cent, after it reaffirmed flat full-year net profit because of a reduced contribution from its capital markets business.

Energy shares slipped after global oil prices fell as news of ample US supplies offset the effect of Opec output curbs.

The benchmark fell as much as 1.2 per cent, posting its lowest in nearly seven weeks.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd, Origin Energy Ltd and Santos Ltd fell 0.5 to one per cent.

Meanwhile, material index rose 0.3 per cent, with gold miners leading the gainers after the yellow metal jumped one per cent to its highest in nearly three months.

The gold index climbed 4 per cent, with Newcrest Mining Ltd, Northern Star Resources Ltd and Evolution Mining Ltd gaining 3.5 to 4.9 per cent.

The industrial sector recorded gains after Transurban Group, reported a 42 per cent jump in first-half profit and raised its full-year dividend guidance.

Shares of the toll road developer rose to their highest in nearly four months.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell as much as 0.4 per cent, recording its biggest intra-day percentage fall in a week.

Industrials and healthcare stocks led the losses, with Auckland International Airport Ltd losing 1.4 per cent, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd fell 1.6 per cent.

REUTERS

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