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Australia, New Zealand: Shares pare early losses as Clinton seen winning debate

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares pared early losses on Tuesday on investor views that Democratic Hillary Clinton won the first US president debate with Republican rival Donald Trump.

Traders are wary over the uncertainty that a Trump presidency might bring, especially in areas of US foreign policy, trade and the domestic economy, while viewing Mrs Clinton as the candidate of status quo.

The S&P/ASX 200 index finished down 0.5 per cent at 5,405.9 points, after slumping 1.1 per cent in early trade.

The S&P/ASX 200 Financials (GIC) Index ended 0.73 per cent lower, with Australia's "big four" banks leading losses.

Renewable energy company Infigen Energy Ltd was the biggest percentage loser on the index, falling 5 per cent to its lowest in almost four months. Coal miner Whitehaven Coal also ended 3.1 per cent lower.

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Qantas Airways shed 2.2 per cent, its biggest percentage loss in a little more than two weeks after snapping four straight sessions of gains.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index also pared early losses to end down nearly 0.2 per cent, or 12 points, after receding 0.6 per cent in morning trade.

Losses in financials and telecommunication services were offset by gains in materials and healthcare stocks.

Fletcher Building Ltd, the second biggest gainer on the index ended 1.6 per cent higher, while energy company Genesis Energy Ltd slipped 1.78 per cent after crude futures fell on profit-taking.


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