June 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped on Wednesday
after posting their best session in nearly four months, as gold
and energy stocks lost ground after underlying commodity prices
The S&P/ASX 200 index declined 0.5% to 7,303.20 by
1259 GMT, retreating after Tuesday's 1.5% jump.
Energy stocks shed 1.5% as crude oil prices fell
overnight following a discussion by OPEC+ countries to raise
Sector heavyweights Santos and Woodside petroleum
were the biggest drags on the sub-index, falling 2.4%
and 1.5% respectively.
Ampol and Viva Energy were trading in
negative territory even though the Australian parliament
approved plans to pay them A$2.3 billion ($1.8 billion) to keep
their struggling oil refineries open.
Gold stocks slid 0.5%, with bullion prices falling
overnight as traders awaited more clarity from the U.S. Federal
Reserve regarding its monetary policy after the central bank
struck a hawkish tone last week.
Sector heavyweight Northern Star Resources slipped
0.5%, while Ramelius Resources fell 3.2% and was the
second-biggest loser on the sub-index.
Financial stocks were down 0.74%, with the 'big
four' banks losing between 0.9% and 1.1%.
Tech stocks advanced 0.8%, led by a 1.3% gain in
Afterpay Ltd and a 0.7% rise in Appen.
Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.29% at 28,968.43.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was
up 0.25% at 12,565.51.
(Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru; Editing by