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Australia: Shares down sharply as China PMIs inflame export worries

Australian shares posted solid gains for the second straight day on Wednesday, with banks and miners leading the way as investors hoped Beijing's efforts to stabilise its ailing stock markets were starting to pay off.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares tumbled to their lowest close in a week on Tuesday after fresh data showed China's manufacturing activity contracted in August, reinforcing worries about the health of Australia's biggest export market.

The widely expected Reserve Bank of Australia's decision not to cut interest rates also contributed to the downbeat mood.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 2.1 per cent or 110.6 points to 5,096.4 at the close of trade, its lowest finish since Aug 24. The benchmark has fallen 10 per cent since the start of August.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index finished flat, down 1.3 points to finish the session at 5,655.0.


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