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Australia: Shares end down on renewed China anxiety

Tuesday, August 18, 2015 - 14:32
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Australian shares bucked a poor performance by Wall Street to edge 0.6 per cent higher on Thursday, aided by a hunt for dividend yield and more merger action.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares gave up early gains and tumbled on Tuesday, as banks and resources stocks fell after the yuan resumed its decline against the US dollar, reigniting fears that Beijing may be intent on a deeper devaluation of the currency.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.2 per cent, or 64.56 points, to 5,303.1 at the close of trade. The benchmark edged up 0.2 per cent on Monday.

It is on track for its worst monthly performance since May 2012, largely hurt by last week's surprise devaluation of the yuan, capital raisings by the country's major banks and on continued weakness in metals and oil prices which is dragging on the resource-driven economy.

Industrial shares were in the black led by gains in Australia's biggest rail and freight operator Asciano after it agreed a US$6.5 billion takeover by Canada's Brookfield Infrastructure.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.3 per cent or 16.65 points to finish the session at 5,710.77.

REUTERS