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Australia: Shares fall as Trump's China tariff threat hits miners; NZ little changed

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Australian shares closed at their lowest level in over a week on Friday, with mining stocks leading declines after US President Donald Trump said he will slap a 10 per cent tariff on US$300 billion of Chinese imports.

[SYDNEY] Australian shares closed at their lowest level in over a week on Friday, with mining stocks leading declines after US President Donald Trump said he will slap a 10 per cent tariff on US$300 billion of Chinese imports.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ended down 0.3 per cent or 20.3 points at 6,768.6, after losing 0.4 per cent in the previous session. The benchmark fell 0.4 per cent for the week.

Mr Trump's announcement on Thursday extended tariffs to nearly all of the Chinese goods the United States imports, ratcheting up a protracted tussle that has weighed on global growth and battered equities.

Mining stocks, whose top export destination is China, dropped to an over six-week trough and accounted for majority of the losses on the benchmark.

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World's biggest miner BHP Group Ltd fell 3.7 per cent to its lowest since June 11 and was the biggest drag on the main index.

Meanwhile, Rio Tinto slumped to a near-three month trough despite posting its highest margins in a decade and delivering a record interim payout.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ticked up 3.05 points to finish at 10,863.87.

The index posted a weekly gain of 0.5 per cent, extending a winning streak to a eight consecutive week.

REUTERS