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Australia: Shares hit low as miners drag; US stimulus woes weigh

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Australian shares on Tuesday hit a more than three-month low, pressured by miners and energy stocks, due to overnight Wall Street losses as possible delays in fresh stimulus raised concerns about a longer recovery path for the US economy.

[BENGALURU] Australian shares on Tuesday hit a more than three-month low, pressured by miners and energy stocks, due to overnight Wall Street losses as possible delays in fresh stimulus raised concerns about a longer recovery path for the US economy.

The S&P/ASX 200 benchmark index slid 0.6 per cent to 5,790.10 by 0034 GMT, after falling 0.9 per cent to hit its lowest since June 16 earlier. It lost 0.7 per cent in the previous session.

Wall Street's main indexes closed lower on Monday over the possibility of delays in fresh stimulus from Congress following the death of US Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

Congress has for weeks remained deadlocked over the size and shape of another coronavirus-response bill, on top of the roughly US$3 trillion already enacted into law.

Concerns about new lockdowns in Europe and the UK also spurred fears of obstruction to a nacent recovery in the global economy and further pressure to equity markets.

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In local trade, a fall in ironore prices knocked the Australian mining index down as much as 2.5 per cent to its lowest level since Sept 4.

Major miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto both fell around 2 per cent.

Gold stocks fell 3.3 per cent to their lowest since Sept 14, following a decline in bullion prices.

SSR Mining lost over 10 per cent, while Pantoro fell as much as 5 per cent.

Energy stocks declined almost 2 per cent to a near five-month low, as oil prices fell, hurt by a dim outlook for global demand as Covid-19 cases increase.

Santos fell as much as 2.9 per cent to a one-week low, while Oil Search hit its lowest since May 14.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.43 per cent to 11,589 after earlier hitting its lowest since Aug 17.

The top percentage gainers were Ryman Healthcare, up 3.11 per cent, followed by Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation, gaining 2.28 per cent.

REUTERS

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