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Australia: Shares end lower as weak commodity prices weigh


[SYDNEY] Australian shares closed lower for a second day on Tuesday with energy firms and iron ore miners pressured by weak commodity prices.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.3 per cent, or 18.00 points, to 5,404.7, taking losses since Monday to 1.1 per cent.

Mount Gibson Iron and Atlas Iron both tumbled 11 percent. Oil explorers and producers were also hit hard with Horizon Oil ending 7.1 per cent lower.

In contrast, investors snapped up gold miners such as Evolution Mining as safe-haven demand drove spot gold to a 12-week high. Evolution Mining shares jumped nearly 9 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.5 per cent, or 26.80 points, to a record-closing high of 5,636.61.