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[BENGALURU] Australian shares extended their losses to a third consecutive session on Friday, weighed by the financial sector, as US stocks slipped overnight after disappointing labour market data.
The S&P/ASX 200 index dipped about a percent or 55.16 points to 5,703.60 at the close of trade. The declines were broad-based, with nine out of 10 sectors in the red. The benchmark was down 0.3 per cent for the week.
Wall Street fell after data showed US private employers had hired fewer workers than expected in June and applications for unemployment benefits last week rose for a third straight week, pointing to some loss of momentum in job growth.
Financial stocks were the biggest drag on the Australian index with the "Big Four" banks - Westpac, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, National Australia Bank and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group - all slipping.
Sentiment in the market was also dented by oil prices which fell by more than one per cent with US crude futures dipping below US$45 per barrel as news of a spike in US production added to earlier reports that Opec output was also on the rise.
Oil major Woodside Petroleum closed down 2.6 per cent.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged down 0.1 per cent or 7.48 points to finish the session at 7,622.13.
Telecom sector was the biggest drag, hurt by Spark New Zealand which fell more than one per cent.