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Australia: Shares stumble as China weighs


[SYDNEY] Australian shares extended falls to drop 1.6 per cent on Tuesday as traders played catch-up to a major sell-off in Chinese stocks the previous day, which sent shockwaves around the globe.

A semblance of calm returned to Chinese stocks on Tuesday with the CSI300 index of the largest listed companies in Shanghai and Shenzhen eking out a 0.8 percent gain in choppy trade.

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index fell 86.08 points to 5,184.4 at the close of trade, a level last seen on Dec 24. This is the third consecutive day of loss for the benchmark and the biggest intra-day percentage drop since Dec 14.

China is Australia's major trading partner.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.7 per cent or, 46.16 points to finish the session at 6,278.10, after hitting successive record highs in the past week.