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Australia shares fall as subdued copper prices weigh on metal stocks

09/21/2021 | 09:30pm EDT

Sept 22 (Reuters) - Australia shares fell on Wednesday, weighed down by heavyweight banks and mining stocks as copper prices dropped, although gains in energy, tech and gold stocks capped losses.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.23% to 7,256.8 by 0023 GMT, after ending 0.4% higher in the previous session.

Copper prices extended their decline to a one-month low on Tuesday on renewed fears that troubles at debt-laden developer China Evergrande Group could seep into the global economy.

Australian mining stocks fell 0.4%, led by a 2.3% drop in Liontown Resources Ltd, followed by Coronado Global Resources Inc losing 2.01%.

Global miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metlas declined between 0.1% and 0.6%.

Financial stocks shed nearly 1% to hit a more than seven-week low, with the "Big Four" banks declining between 0.5% and 1.1%.

QBE Insurance Group and NIB Holdings were the worst performers on the financials sub-index, losing 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively.

Westpac fell for a fourth straight session, losing as much as 1.2%, after it scrapped the sale of its Pacific businesses to Kina Securities, and said it expected to write back a loss of about A$121 million ($87.52 million) it had recognised with its first-half results.

In contrast, energy stocks rose 1%, led by Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company adding 2.9%, followed by Worley gaining 2.7% on a modest rise in oil prices overnight.

Tech stocks rose 0.3%, led by Xero Ltd up 1.5%, followed by Megaport Ltd gaining 0.6%.

Wall Street closed near flat overnight ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, where the central bank could set out a timeline to taper its stimulus.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.1% to 13,163.

Japan's Nikkei was down 0.46%, and S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.35%. ($1 = 1.3826 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)


© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP LIMITED 0.13% 37.25 Delayed Quote.13.36%
CHINA EVERGRANDE GROUP 8.55% 1.65 Delayed Quote.3.77%
CORONADO GLOBAL RESOURCES INC. 5.92% 1.61 Delayed Quote.29.84%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED -2.14% 16.46 Delayed Quote.-12.44%
KINA SECURITIES LIMITED -0.60% 0.835 Delayed Quote.-2.34%
LIONTOWN RESOURCES LIMITED -3.30% 1.465 Delayed Quote.-8.73%
MEGAPORT LIMITED -2.77% 7.72 Delayed Quote.-58.41%
NIB HOLDINGS LIMITED 0.68% 7.4 Delayed Quote.4.85%
NIKKEI 225 -1.50% 26173.98 Real-time Quote.-7.71%
QBE INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED -2.15% 11.39 Delayed Quote.2.56%
S&P 500 1.97% 3719.04 Real-time Quote.-23.48%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.53% 6462 Real-time Quote.-12.74%
WASHINGTON H. SOUL PATTINSON AND COMPANY LIMITED 0.30% 26.89 Delayed Quote.-9.46%
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION -0.62% 20.93 Delayed Quote.-1.36%
WORLEY LIMITED -0.48% 12.46 Delayed Quote.17.78%
XERO LIMITED -3.21% 77.12 Delayed Quote.-43.67%
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