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Australia shares end lower as casino operator Crown slumps; NZ down

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares closed lower on Monday, with Crown Resorts Ltd posting its biggest daily decline on record after it said 18 of its employees including its head of VIP gambling had been detained by Chinese authorities.

Crown Resorts, Australia's biggest casino company, slumped 13.9 per cent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index extended losses into a fourth consecutive session, closing down 0.8 per cent or 45.33 points at 5,388.7, its lowest in almost three weeks.

Sentiment also remained subdued after Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen on Friday expressed concerns of weakening US economic potential and said that the Fed may need to run a "high-pressure economy" to reverse damage from the 2008-2009 crisis.

Losses were driven by consumer cyclicals, healthcare and financials. Domino's Pizza Enterprises Ltd was the second biggest percentage loser on the main index, shedding 2.5 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell nearly one per cent or 66.89 points to finish at 7,066.37, its lowest in three months.

Orion Health Group Ltd was the biggest percentage loser on the index, falling 4.5 per cent to its lowest in more than six months.

REUTERS