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Australia: Shares end down as energy firms take hit on lower oil

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares closed down on Monday after earlier slipping to their lowest in almost a month, as energy firms were hit hard by falling oil prices after Iraq said it does not want to join the production cut to prop up the market.

The Australian benchmark index ended 0.4 per cent, or 21.82 points, lower at 5,408.5. It lost 0.2 per cent on Friday and was off 0.1 per cent for the week.

The energy index tumbled 1.5 per cent and closed at its lowest since Sept 30.

Santos Ltd and Oil Search Ltd, down about 3 per cent and 2 per cent respectively, were the worst hit in the oil sector.

Healthcare stocks also lost substantially, with healthcare provider Healthscope Ltd and Ramsay Health Care Ltd down 5.9 per cent and 4.6 per cent respectively.

New Zealand's stock market was closed for Labour Day.

REUTERS

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