* Miners, energy stocks lead losses on ASX 200
* Lithium, uranium stocks limit some losses
* NZX 50 ends flat
Sept 15 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed lower on
Wednesday, after gaining for three consecutive sessions, as
energy stocks declined and weak iron ore prices weighed on
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.27% down at 7,417.
"The market moved without any sense of direction and had
more reasons to retreat than rally today, with Wall Street
falling overnight, descending bond yields weighing on the banks
and a evident weakness in the resources sector," Henry Jennings,
senior analyst at Marcustoday Financial Newsletter said.
Major miners dropped 1.53%, tracking benchmark iron
ore futures which plunged to a more than 9-month low on
continued slide in Chinese steel output.
Heavyweight miner BHP Group Ltd led losses on the
sub-index, down 3.52%, followed by Champion Iron Ltd,
Limiting losses on the benchmark, however, lithium prices
continued to rise, with lithium miner Pilbara Minerals
and Orocobre hitting record highs.
Uranium stocks also added to the gains uranium development
firm Bannerman Energy advanced 22.58% and Boss Energy
"Lithium and uranium are starting to have their days in the
market as the commodities are a key plank in the green energy
equation with countries looking to reduce their emission
targets," Jennings said.
Energy stocks fell 2.21% despite an uptick in oil
prices. Heavyweight Worley Ltd led losses, skidding
4.3%, followed by Beach Energy Ltd, losing 4.04%.
Among major banks, Westpac was the only bank from
the "Big Four" to close higher at 0.3%, with the financial
sector skidding 0.28%.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.07%
lower at 13,099.3.
(Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)