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Australia shares tumble on Wall Street slide; NZ ends at 3-week low
[BENGALURU] Australian shares fell back on Monday, dragged down by financial and materials stocks and tracking Wall Street which tumbled on fears of resurgent inflation stoked by a strong jobs report.
The S&P/ASX 200 index slid 1.6 per cent, or 95.2 points to 6026.2 at the close of trade. The benchmark rose 0.5 per cent on Friday.
Financial stocks slipped 1.3 per cent, with the "Big Four" banks all losing over 1 per cent each.
Miners fell 2.5 per cent to their lowest close since Dec 29 with gold and copper prices slipping as the US dollar strengthened on unexpectedly strong employment data.
US job growth surged in January and wages recorded their largest annual gain in more than 8-1/2 years, bolstering expectations that inflation will push higher this year as the US economy reaches full employment.
Index heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto both shed over 2 per cent to close at a five-week low.
The Australian gold index lost 2.6 per cent, its lowest in more than three weeks.
The biggest drag on the main index was Resolute Mining , slumping 9.5 per cent to hit a nearly seven-week closing low.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 2.1 per cent, or 173.46 points, to a three-week closing low of 8241.83.
Healthcare, utility and consumer staple stocks weighed the index down, with Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation slipping 3.5 per cent to its lowest close since November 24, and Contact Energy losing 2 per cent.
The top loser on the main index, however, was Kathmandu Holdings, down 3.8 per cent, closing at its lowest in more than two weeks.