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Australia shares slip on Trump policy worries; NZ posts worst day in a month

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[BENGALURU] Australian shares closed lower on Monday as investors held off to assess the impact of US President Donald Trump's policies on the global political and economic landscape.

The S&P/ASX 200 index, which had risen for the last three sessions, fell 0.9 per cent, or 52.49 points, to 5,661.5, recovering slightly after falling 1.2 per cent during trade, its biggest dip in two months.

Mr Trump put a 120-day hold on allowing refugees into the country, an indefinite ban on refugees from Syria and a 90-day bar on citizens of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

With the White House seemingly focused on border security and trade protectionism, clarity on the administration's economic policies was still absent.

"We didn't expect to see the market down one per cent," said Chris Weston, an institutional dealer at IG Markets.

"This suggests that the markets are starting to get a little bit more nervous about Trump's protectionist policies and their potential impact on global trade; not to mention the controversy around the policies and the fact the world seems to be uniting in some sort of condemnation."

Losses were led by ASX financial index, which fell 0.9 per cent, with the "Big Four" banks down 0.45 per cent to one per cent.

Miners also recorded losses as investors booked profits.

The Australian mining and basic materials indexes, which gained 4.4 per cent and four per cent respectively last week, lost more than 0.4 per cent each.

Mining majors BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals fell 0.6 per cent and 2.3 per cent, respectively.

Energy stocks showed losses as oil prices extended declines, although gold miners gained as prices were driven higher by a weaker US dollar.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed 0.7 per cent, or 48.7 points, down at 7,085.56. The benchmark posted its biggest percentage decline in over a month.

Losses were led by telecom and utilities stocks. Chorus Ltd fell 3.7 per cent, while Contact Energy dropped 1.4 per cent.


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