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Australia, NZ: Shares down as Brexit jitters dim mood


[SYDNEY] Australian and New Zealand shares fell on Tuesday as Britain's shock vote to leave the European Union continued to spread turmoil in global markets.

Financials remained the biggest drag, pressuring the S&P/ASX 200 index down one per cent, or 53.03 points, to 5085.20 by 0124 GMT. The benchmark had edged up 0.47 per cent on Monday, but it is down 4.5 per cent since Friday.

"It's a complete reversal of what happened yesterday," said CMC Markets' chief strategist Michael McCarthy.

"With the negative reaction overnight in American and European markets a lot of that enthusiasm has been reversed."

UK exposed financials extended their losses, led by BT Investment which fell 4.2 per cent and is down 27 per cent since the Brexit result. Shares in Henderson Group lost 1.87 per cent on Tuesday and are also down 27 per cent since Friday.

A 3 per cent fall in oil prices overnight, to a seven-week low, led energy stocks down, with Santos losing 5.5 per cent and Worley Parsons falling 4.9 per cent. And despite a rise in iron ore prices, Fortescue Metals Group shed 4.2 per cent and BHP shares edged lower by 0.4 per cent.

Media stocks fell with News Corp losing 4.3 per cent, Fairfax down 2.2 per cent and APN News & Media slipping 4 per cent, following a 9.5 per cent fall on Monday.

Investors sought safety in gold miners and telecommunications stocks, with Telstra shares rising by 0.7 per cent, Newcrest Mining Ltd gaining 1.7 per cent and Evolution Mining Ltd rising as much as 5.5 per cent to its highest price since 2003 on its positive outlook for FY16 and FY17.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.34 per cent or 22.91 points to 6,663.390 as the Brexit hangover kept buyers at bay.

Technology stocks suffered with online auction company Trade Me down 1.8 per cent and accounting software company Xero falling 1.1 per cent.

Chicken producer Tegel led losses, falling 2.4 per cent, as investors took profits after the firm rose 4.4 per cent the previous session.

Dual-listed Australian-owned banks also fell with Westpac down 1.3 per cent and ANZ down 1.4 per cent, while New Zealand-based Heartland Bank also lost 0.9 per cent.

New Zealand Refining led gains, up 2.1 per cent while Air New Zealand rose one per cent.


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