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Australia: Shares slide to near 3-month lows as mood darkens


[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell sharply for a second consecutive session on Thursday as a mixed jobs report added to worries that the central bank's latest rate cut may not be enough to revive business confidence.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 0.8 per cent or 46.5 points to 5,645.7 at the close of trade. The benchmark touched a three-month low and was on track for a nearly 3 per cent fall this week. If sustained, it would be the second-largest drop this year.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index also slid 0.6 per cent or 35.9 points to finish the session at 5,729.35, having touched its lowest since January.