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Australia: Shares hit by plunging copper, NZ stocks resilient

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Australian shares fell 1 per cent on Wednesday as a sudden dive in copper prices added to worries about persistent weakness in oil.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell 1 per cent on Wednesday as a sudden dive in copper prices added to worries about persistent weakness in oil.

Not helping the mood was news the World Bank had cut its global growth forecasts because of sluggishness in the euro zone, Japan and some major emerging economies.

The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 51.08 points to 5353.6 in the third day of declines, taking this week's losses to 2 per cent.

Miners suffered the most, down 2.5 per cent, followed by industrials and banks. Yet, the energy sector proved resilient despite a 5 per cent tumble in oil prices overnight.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged up 0.2 per cent or 12.0 points higher to finish the session at 5,648.625.

REUTERS