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Australian shares subdued on oil declines; NZ up

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares edged lower flat on Wednesday, dragged down by materials and energy stocks.

Oil prices declined after Saudi Arabia and Iran dashed market hopes that they would find a compromise this week at meeting in Algiers to help ease a global glut of crude.

Saudi Energy Minister Khalid al-Falih told reporters he did not expect an agreement to come out of the consultations on the last day of the Sept 26-28 International Energy Forum.

"No one really expected to hear a categorical statement that we are going to see the Saudis curbing oil production," said Chris Weston, chief market strategist at IG, adding that with no firm agreement from Opec there was probably some selling.

The energy index, S&P/ASX 200 Energy (GIC) fell 0.4 per cent, with oil firm Beach Energy Ltd leading sector losses. Santos Ltd dipped 1.4 per cent to its lowest in two weeks, down for a fourth straight session.

The S&P/ASX 200 index edged lower by 3.59 points, or 0.07 per cent, to 5,402.3 points by 0248 GMT.

The index had risen as much as 0.5 per cent in early trade, buoyed by Hillary Clinton's perceived victory in the US Presidential debate against Donald Trump.

Gold producer Newcrest Mining fell 2.7 per cent, snapping two session of gains, after gold prices extended losses from the previous session.

OceanaGold Corp plunged as much as 11.2 per cent to its lowest in five months, and was the biggest per centage loser on the benchmark index.

The company said on Tuesday that it has not received an order from a Philippine mining agency to suspend its operations in the country, referring to a mandate issued by the Philippines that ordered the suspension of several mines for environmental violations.

Consumer staples gained after Woolworths Ltd, Australia's largest grocer by sales, rose 2.2 per cent to overcome two losing sessions after it won a legal battle against American retail giant Lowe's, reports said.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.2 per cent or 15.66 points to 7,268.6, driven by telecom shares.

Chorus Ltd gained 2.9 per cent, its biggest percentage gain in about seven weeks. The stock has fallen 3.32 per cent this year, as of close on Tuesday.

Energy company Z Energy Ltd eased 0.7 per cent on declining oil prices.

Poultry producer Tegel Group Holdings was the worst performer on the benchmark, slumping to its lowest in three months.

REUTERS