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Australia: Shares hit 2015 closing low on broad selloff


[SYDNEY] Australian shares posted their lowest close for 2015 on Thursday following a broad-based selloff sparked by worries about slowing Chinese economic growth and uncertainty about when the Federal Reserve will raise US interest rates.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.7 per cent, or 91.6 points, to 5,288.6 - the lowest closing level since mid-December.

All the major banks and miners finished in the red. Commonwealth Bank led the big four lenders with a 2.7-per cent fall. BHP Billiton shed 3.1 per cent.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 per cent, or 7.6 points, to finish at 5,742.5.