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Australia: Shares fall as mining, tech sell-off offsets Federal Reserve stance

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Australian shares fell on Thursday, dragged by mining and tech stocks, as investors took cues from a renewed tech rout on Wall Street that led major indexes into the red despite initial optimism surrounding the US Federal Reserve's low-rate stance.

[BENGALURU] Australian shares fell on Thursday, dragged by mining and tech stocks, as investors took cues from a renewed tech rout on Wall Street that led major indexes into the red despite initial optimism surrounding the US Federal Reserve's low-rate stance.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.5 per cent to 5,924.5 by 0033 GMT.

The S&P 500 and the Nasdaq Composite ended in the red overnight, reversing initial gains with tech sector weighing on S&P 500 the most, offsetting optimism stoked by Fed's dovish comments.

The Fed pledged to keep the interest rates near zero until inflation was on track, marking a shift in monetary policy aimed to offset years of weak inflation and allow the economy to keep adding jobs for as long as possible.

Local tech shares followed their bigger US peers, losing as much as 2 per cent. Afterpay fell 3.5 per cent, while investing services provider Computershare slipped 0.8 per cent.

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Miners, reliant on exports to China, were the biggest drags on the benchmark, giving up more than 1 per cent.

Tensions with top trading partner China remained at a high as Australia on Wednesday named the world's second-largest economy in a court document as the foreign state under investigation by police in its first foreign interference investigation.

Global miners Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group were the biggest losers, giving up 1.7 per cent and 4 per cent, respectively.

In New Zealand, benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose as much as 0.50 per cent to a one-week high of 11,873.380.

Investors shrugged off dire economic data that showed the country officially entered recession in the second quarter, posting its sharpest quarterly contraction on record as coronavirus-related curbs paralysed business activity and impacted growth.

Financials were the top boosts to the index, with local shares of Westpac Banking Corp and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group adding as much as 1.5 per cent and 1.8 per cent, respectively.

REUTERS

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