Sept 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell more than 1% on
Monday, dragged down by heavyweight mining and energy stocks
hurt by weak underlying commodity prices, while tech stocks
tracked weakness on the Wall Street.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell as much as 1.4% to its
lowest in two months, before trading 1.2% lower at 7,311.8 as at
Benchmark iron ore futures slumped on Friday, as Beijing
considered including more cities in its environmental controls,
which would lead to reduction in steel production to meet
China's accelerated de-carbonization efforts.
Heavyweight mining stocks fell 3.4% to their lowest
in more than nine and a half months. Mining giant Rio Tinto
fell 2.3% to its lowest in 10 months, while BHP Group
also dropped 3.6% to its lowest in nearly 10 months.
Energy stocks were down 2.1%, with Santos Ltd
losing 2.8%, followed by Viva Energy Group
shedding 2.7% as oil prices fell on Friday after energy
companies in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico restarted production.
Wall Street on Friday ended sharply lower in a broad
sell-off as rising U.S. Treasury yields pressured market-leading
Taking cues from Wall Street, the Australian technology
stocks shed 1.8%, led by Iress Ltd, down 3.2%
and Xero Ltd falling 3.1%.
In contrast, energy infrastructure firm AusNet Services
soared as much as 22.2%, after it received a
non-binding bid from an infrastructure affiliate of Canadian
investor Brookfield Asset Management, which valued
AusNet at A$9.57 billion ($6.95 billion).
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index
dropped 0.7% to 13,138.74.
Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.6% at 30500.05.
($1 = 1.3774 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)