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Australia: Shares sink as Trump uncertainty hampers risk sentiment; NZ limps

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares saw their worst day this year on Wednesday, led by financials, mirroring the sharp overnight fall on Wall Street.

The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than a per cent after investors saw the Trump administration's struggles to push through the healthcare overhaul as a sign he may also face setbacks delivering promised corporate tax cuts.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 90.1 points or 1.56 per cent to 5,684.5 at the close of trade, down for a third day, and recording its lowest since March 1.

The financial index shed 2.08 per cent, its worst single-day percentage fall since November 2016, tracking similar losses in its US financial counterpart.

Market voices on:

ANZ Banking, Westpac Banking Corp and Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell more than 2 per cent each.

Mining giants Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group fell 2.6 per cent, 2.9 per cent and 5.3 per cent, respectively after copper, steel and iron prices dropped on Tuesday.

Gold stocks, however, jumped after prices held steady near a three-week high as risk-averse investors sought safer investments.

The gold index rose as much as 3.34 per cent and hit its highest in three weeks.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.35 per cent or 24.71 points to finish the session at 7,060.83.

Losses were led by industrials, with Auckland International Airport slipping 2.2 per cent.

Westpac's NZ shares were the biggest losers on the index, down 2.72 per cent.


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