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Australian shares ease after best day in 4 months, energy stocks top losers

06/22/2021 | 09:23pm EDT

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 fell overnight.

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 production.

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 Subhranshu Sahu)

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AFTERPAY LIMITED -0.06% 123.54 End-of-day quote.4.69%
AMPOL LIMITED 0.80% 27.88 End-of-day quote.-1.90%
APPEN LIMITED -3.84% 9.51 End-of-day quote.-61.48%
LONDON BRENT OIL -0.09% 75.5 Delayed Quote.42.98%
NIKKEI 225 -0.62% 30323.34 Real-time Quote.11.18%
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED -1.24% 9.54 End-of-day quote.-24.82%
OIL REFINERIES LTD. 1.33% 68.6 Delayed Quote.-5.77%
RAMELIUS RESOURCES LIMITED -0.34% 1.485 End-of-day quote.-11.87%
S&P GSCI CRUDE OIL INDEX -0.15% 396.0867 Delayed Quote.45.88%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.69% 7408.6 Real-time Quote.12.60%
SANTOS LIMITED 2.24% 6.4 End-of-day quote.2.07%
VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED 2.67% 2.31 End-of-day quote.20.94%
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD 2.48% 21.04 End-of-day quote.-7.48%
WTI -0.10% 72.471 Delayed Quote.46.90%
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