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Australia shares end 5-day rally; miners drag

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The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.8 per cent to close at 6,684.70, after gaining about 3 per cent over the five previous trading days.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares snapped a five-session rally to end lower on Thursday, dragged by miners as iron ore prices continued to slide on worries over Chinese demand.

The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.8 per cent to close at 6,684.70, after gaining about 3 per cent over the five previous trading days.

Prices of iron ore slumped more than 3 per cent to their lowest in six weeks on Wednesday, after China's top steelmaking city of Tangshan issued a second-level smog alert that requires mills to further limit operations.

Mining behemoths BHP Group and Rio Tinto lost 3.3 per cent and about 3 per cent, respectively, weighing on the benchmark.

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The broader sentiment was also hurt by soft US retail sales data, which raised fears about the health of the world's largest economy.

The New Zealand benchmark closed 0.3 per cent lower at 11,141.86 with payments platform provider Pushpay Holdings Ltd declining more than 3 per cent. 

REUTERS