Australian stocks slide as commodities stocks drag on China COVID woes
July 13 (Reuters) – Australian shares slid on Wednesday, led by mining and energy stocks, hit by weak commodity and metal prices following new COVID-19 restrictions in China to control rising cases.
The S&P/ASX 200 Index .AXJO fell 0.3% to 6584.1 at 0041 GMT. The benchmark index lost 1% on Tuesday.
Main declines, energy values .AXEJ fell 2%, their biggest drop in a week, as oil prices tumbled on weak demand from major crude importer China and a strong dollar. WHERE
Woodside Energy Index Heavyweights WDS.AX and Santos STO.AX lost 3.1% and 2.7%, respectively.
National minors .AXMM erased as much as 1.6% to its lowest level since November as iron ore prices tumbled on continued demand woes in China, the metals’ biggest consumer. IRON-ORE/
Rio Tinto Sector Majors RIO.AXBHP Group BHP.AX and Fortescue Metals FMG.AX slipped between 1% and 2%.
Against the grain, financial .AXFJ added up to 0.2%, with National Australia Bank NAB.AX and Macquarie MQG.AX increasing by 0.3% and 0.6% respectively.
However, the Australian and New Zealand banking group ANZ.AX lost 0.4%, after the company confirmed it was in talks with US private equity firm KKR & Co KKR.N for a possible acquisition of Australian software company MYOB Group.
Technology sub-index .AXIJ was a bright spot, jumping 1.3%. Shares of network service provider Megaport MP1.AX and accounting software producer Xero XRO.AX gained up to 3.1% and 2.1%, respectively.
Gold stocks .AXGD followed weakness in bullion prices under pressure from the strong dollar, losing as much as 0.6%. GOL/
Industry Leaders Northern Star Resources NST.AX and Newcrest Mining NCM.AX fell 0.4% and 0.7%, respectively.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 jumped 0.4% to 11152.1 as investors awaited the central bank’s rate decision later in the day.
Maybank analysts expect four more 50 basis point hikes from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand this year.
(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)
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