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Australian shares fall on materials slump; NZ mostly unchanged

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[BENGALURU] Materials stocks drove Australian shares lower on Tuesday, with BHP leading declines after inking a deal with Brazilian authorities that settles a lawsuit over a 2015 dam disaster.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.2 per cent or 12.80 points to 6,197.60 at the close of trade. The benchmark declined 0.2 per cent on Monday.

Samarco and parent companies Vale SA and BHP have signed a deal with Brazilian authorities that settles a 20 billion reais (S$7.2 billion) lawsuit related to a 2015 dam burst that killed 19 people, BHP said on Monday.

Shares of the world's biggest miner slipped 1 per cent, dragging the benchmark.

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The wider metals and mining index also traded lower, underpinned by a fall in iron ore and copper prices.

Global miner Rio Tinto Ltd dipped about 1.8 per cent to a near seven-week low, while BlueScope Steel Ltd declined 3.1 per cent to its lowest since June 1.

Health care stocks were also in the red, with index heavyweight CSL Ltd dropping 0.7 per cent, while Ramsay Health Care Ltd slid 2 per cent to its lowest in more than three-and-a-half years.

Meanwhile, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 per cent or 6.44 points to finish the session at 8,989.80.

Industrials were the top losers on the main index, with Auckland International Airport Ltd falling 1.2 per cent.

REUTERS