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Australia: Shares fall across the board, but post best year since 2009

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Broad-based losses pressured the S&P/ASX 200 index to fall 1.8 per cent to 6,684.1, its lowest close since Dec 5.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares fell nearly 2 per cent on the last trading day of 2019, but still racked up their best annual performance in a decade.

Broad-based losses pressured the S&P/ASX 200 index to fall 1.8 per cent to 6,684.1, its lowest close since Dec 5. The benchmark had slipped 0.3 per cent on Monday, but for the year, it gained 18.4 per cent.

Wall Street's major indexes saw their biggest one-day percentage declines in about four weeks on Monday, as investors locked-in gains made this month after the United States and China reached an interim trade deal.

Australia and New Zealand markets closed early on Tuesday and Australia will resume trade on Thursday, Jan 2, while New Zealand will reopen the following day.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index finished 0.6 per cent lower at 11,491.90. The benchmark surged 30.4 per cent this year, its best ever.

REUTERS