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Australia: Shares hit one-month low, NZ retreats from record high

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 - 11:58

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[SYDNEY, WELLINGTON] Australian shares fell to their lowest in a month on Tuesday, led by a slump in Nine Entertainment which disappointed investors with a revenue warning, while New Zealand stocks touched another record high and then retreated.

The S&P/ASX 200 index shed 1.6 per cent, or 78.9 points, to 4,916.4 by 0253 GMT, reaching a low not seen since March 1.

New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 index lost 0.5 per cent, or 33.8 points, to 6,709.8, having earlier reached an all-time high of 6,765.88.

The New Zealand market has been on fire since a surprise rate cut last month and expectations of more to come.

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In contrast, Australia's central bank later on Tuesday is considered almost certain to keep interest rates unchanged at 2.0 per cent, where they have been since the last cut in May.

The worst performer in Australia was Nine Entertainment Co. The free-to-air television broadcaster warned its revenue fell in the March quarter from a year earlier and that the advertising market is expected to have a low single-digit decline for the full year.

Nine Entertainment shares slumped as much as 28.9 per cent to a record low of A$1.08. They were last down 21.9 per cent at A$1.18.

Energy producers were also under pressure following a slide in oil prices overnight. Santos and Woodside Petroleum both fell more than 3 per cent.

Oil prices eased further in Asia on Tuesday, extending falls from the previous two sessions as investors doubted producers will be able to rein in global overproduction.

"Opec's Doha meeting is now 12 days away and oil is clearly repricing on the idea that 'no deal' will be inked, showing that Opec is just a cartel by name and not by action," said Evan Lucas, market strategist at IG.

In New Zealand, the biggest losers included Fletcher Building, down 2.7 per cent and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare, off 2.1 per cent.

Bucking the trend, Air New Zealand added 1.8 per cent and Xero climbed 1.4 per cent.

REUTERS

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