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Australia: Shares slip on weak miners, Wall Street cues; NZ down


[BENGALURU] Australian shares slipped on Monday in the wake of Wall Street's fall on Friday, with mining stocks accounting for most of the slide.

President Donald Trump's failure to get a healthcare plan through the US House of Representatives raised questions about his ability to push through tax cuts and fiscal spending to boost the economy.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 6.85 points or 0.12 per cent to 5,746.7 at the close of trade.

Some analysts expect a much more severe reaction to the failed healthcare legislation when the US share markets reopen later on Monday.

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The big pressure points for the Australian benchmark index were metal majors. BHP Billiton fell 2.9 per cent, Rio Tinto was off 1.8 per cent and Fortescue Metals down 3.0 per cent.

They fell after Chinese steel and iron ore futures sank to their lowest in more than six weeks on Monday, amid mounting concerns about demand and growing inventories.

Origin Energy tried to contain the bleeding, ending up as much as 2.7 per cent, to its highest in around five weeks, on the back of oil gains in US overnight trading on Friday.

Shares of department store giant Myer Holdings spiked in the last few minutes of trading, and rose 18.3 per cent for the day. The Australian Financial Review quoted sources as saying 10 per cent of its shares were bought by Australian businessman Solomon Lew at a premium.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.16 per cent or 11.12 points lower, to finish the session at 7,062.71.

Auckland International Airport was the weakest performer on the index, knocking off 0.09 per cent, while A2 Milk Company closed at a record high.