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Banks, led by ANZ, pull Australian shares lower
[SYDNEY] A profit miss from Australia's fourth-largest lender pulled its peers and the country's benchmark index lower on Thursday, despite gains in markets across the rest of Asia after the US Federal Reserve cut interest rates.
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group reported a near 3 per cent drop in its second-half cash profit amid record low interest rates and tough competition for home loans.
ANZ shares reacted with a 3.3 per cent fall, with the other Big Four banks all in the red, declining between 1.1 per cent and 1.3 per cent.
Australia's benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.4 per cent lower, hurt by the slide in financials - the largest component of the benchmark. The index lost 26 points to 6,663.4, and is down for the month, despite gaining for much of it.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was little changed, closing at 10,787.82.