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Australia shares fall as Turkish rout hits; NZ down

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares ended lower on Monday, weighed down by materials and banks after the crisis in Turkey hit Asian assets, while global trade turmoil pushed commodity prices lower.

A renewed selloff in the Turkish lira on Monday pushed Asian assets lower, driving demand for safe havens.

The flight to safety dragged MSCI's broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan down 1.3 per cent to a five-week low.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4 per cent to 6,252.2 at the close of trade, a second consecutive declining session.

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The ASX mining index fell to its lowest in more than three months as global trade tensions pressured commodity prices.

BHP, the world's biggest miner, posted its lowest close in three weeks and was the biggest drag on the benchmark.

Rival Rio Tinto fell for a third consecutive session to post its lowest close in more than four months.

London copper fell on Monday after the dollar rose to a 13-month high against the euro as investors shunned risky assets and sought safe havens.

Shanghai rebar futures pared early gains to close lower on Friday amid intensifying trade dispute between the United States and China and worries about slowing growth.

The financial sector added to losses with Australia's "big four" banks falling between 0.5 per cent to 0.6 per cent.

Investors are eyeing updates from three of the country's major banks this week after top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia warned of slower mortgage growth and last week reported its first fall in annual net profit in almost 10 years.

Some major banks' reputations are in tatters after severe malpractice was disclosed at a Royal Commission public inquiry into financial sector misconduct.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7 per cent or 65.57 points to finish the session at 8,945.04.

Healthcare stocks weighed most on the index. Fisher and Paykel Healthcare Corporation was the biggest drag on the benchmark, ending 2.4 per cent lower, and Ryman Healthcare slid 1.3 per cent.

Fletcher Building dropped 1.7 per cent.

REUTERS