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Australian shares drop 1% as travel stocks weigh

04/20/2021 | 09:06pm EDT

April 21 (Reuters) - Australian stocks fell a percent on Wednesday, extending losses into a second straight session, as travel stocks dropped after a new COVID-19 case in New Zealand sparked worries of a pause in the trans-Tasman quarantine-free travel.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.7% to 6,968.1 by 0030 GMT. It fell as much as 1% to mark its worst intraday drop in about five weeks.

A new case of the novel coronavirus detected at Auckland airport comes just a day after the country opened a travel bubble with Australia.

That pulled down ASX-listed travel stocks, with Qantas Airways falling 2.8% and Sydney Airport Holdings slipping 1.3%. Flight Centre Travel and Helloworld Travel shed about 2% and 1.5%, respectively.

In other markets, Japan's Nikkei dropped 1.56% to 28,631.87. The S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.13%, while all three major U.S. indexes closed lower overnight.

In Australia, the top percentage gainers on the benchmark were Corporate Travel Management, up 4.52%, followed by IDP Education, gaining 2.92%, and Hub24, up 2.58%.

Heavyweight miners fell 1.5%. Lithium miners Galaxy Resources and Orocobre were the biggest losers on the index, falling nearly 6% each.

Iron ore giant BHP Group fell more than 2% after it reported a slight drop in its third-quarter output. However, it expects iron ore production at the upper end of its forecast range for full-year.

Energy index fell 2.1%, led by Beach Energy , down 2.8% and Ampol, losing 1.3%. Oil prices dropped from their one-month highs on fears that world's third-biggest oil importer India may impose new restrictions.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.4% to 12,628.8.

The top percentage losers on the benchmark are Auckland International Airport, down 2%, followed by Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, losing 1.7%, and Meridian Energy, down 1.6%. (Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AMPOL LIMITED -1.10% 28.78 End-of-day quote.1.27%
AUCKLAND INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT LIMITED 0.00% 7.3 End-of-day quote.-3.69%
BEACH ENERGY LIMITED -0.76% 1.31 End-of-day quote.-27.42%
BHP GROUP 1.03% 47.16 End-of-day quote.11.15%
CORPORATE TRAVEL MANAGEMENT LIMITED -1.71% 20.68 End-of-day quote.18.17%
DJ INDUSTRIAL -0.21% 33874.24 Delayed Quote.10.91%
FLIGHT CENTRE TRAVEL GROUP LIMITED -3.52% 15.06 End-of-day quote.-4.98%
GALAXY RESOURCES LIMITED -0.29% 3.39 End-of-day quote.52.02%
HELLOWORLD TRAVEL LIMITED -2.65% 1.65 End-of-day quote.-34.52%
HUB24 LIMITED -0.40% 27.67 End-of-day quote.29.66%
IDP EDUCATION LIMITED -0.12% 24.23 End-of-day quote.22.07%
MERIDIAN ENERGY LIMITED 0.19% 5.18 End-of-day quote.-30.19%
NASDAQ 100 0.03% 14274.242804 Delayed Quote.10.72%
NASDAQ COMP. 0.13% 14271.7325 Delayed Quote.9.72%
NIKKEI 225 0.00% 28875.23 Real-time Quote.5.25%
OROCOBRE LIMITED 0.67% 5.99 End-of-day quote.34.00%
QANTAS AIRWAYS LIMITED -0.21% 4.72 End-of-day quote.-2.68%
S&P 500 -0.11% 4241.84 Delayed Quote.13.06%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.32% 7275.3 Real-time Quote.11.46%
SYDNEY AIRPORT LIMITED -2.20% 5.79 End-of-day quote.-9.67%
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