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Australia shares falter on weak oil; NZ also down

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Australian share markets slipped on Thursday for a second day, dragged by materials, after losses in overnight oil prices sparked a heavy sell-off in the energy sector.

[BENGALURU] Australian share markets slipped on Thursday for a second day, dragged by materials, after losses in overnight oil prices sparked a heavy sell-off in the energy sector.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 18.45 points or 0.32 per cent to 5,741.2 at the close of trade.

Oil prices dived 5 per cent to their lowest this year on Wednesday, as US crude inventories surged much more than expected to a record high, stoking concerns a global glut could persist even as Opec tries to prop up prices with output curbs.

Prices recovered marginally in Asian trading, but failed to appease investors. The energy index tumbled to a 3-month low, with oil majors Woodside Petroleum, Santos and Beach Energy leading losses.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.52 per cent or 37.2 points to finish the session at 7,140.9, hurt by materials.

REUTERS

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