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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Indexes  >  Australian Stock Exchange  >  S&P/ASX 200    XJO   XC0006013624

S&P/ASX 200

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Australia, NZ shares fall as virus fears deepen

08/11/2020 | 09:56pm EST

* Gold stocks record worst session in over two months

* Financial sub-index among gainers in Australia

* New Zealand set for worst session in two months

Aug 12 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Wednesday on worries that a worsening coronavirus outbreak in the country's second-most populous state would further slam economic activity, while gold stocks slumped after bullion prices plunged overnight.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.44% to 6,114.60 points by 0117 GMT, giving up nearly all of Tuesday's gains.

The state of Victoria, whose capital city of Melbourne was forced into another lockdown last week, recorded its deadliest day of the pandemic on Wednesday and the biggest daily rise in infections in three days.

Gold stocks plunged nearly 5%, the most since May 27, after prices of the precious metal slumped overnight because of a broader lift in risk appetite.

Evolution Mining lost over 7% as it suspended operations at its Red Lake Gold mine in Canada due to a nearby forest fire threat.

The mining sub-index dropped 1.9% to its lowest in a week, with global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto falling about 1% each.

Financial stocks were among the sole gainers in the benchmark index, rising 0.5%, led by Virgin Money UK, up 4.8%.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country's largest lender, dipped 0.4% after cutting its final dividend for the first time in more than a decade, as annual cash profit dropped 11.3%, narrowly missing analysts' estimates.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down 1.4% at 11,486.27 by 0118 GMT, on course for its worst session since June 12, as consumer and tourism-related stocks fell.

The country's biggest city was preparing to go into lockdown again, following new coronavirus cases that ended a 102-day record run without any new infections.

Investors will also focus on New Zealand's central bank policy meeting later in the day, where it is widely expected to hold rates steady at a record low of 0.25%. (Reporting by Deepali Saxena; Editing by Aditya Soni)

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP 1.06% 46.62 End-of-day quote.9.88%
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA 0.21% 85.27 End-of-day quote.3.85%
EVOLUTION MINING LIMITED 0.22% 4.63 End-of-day quote.-7.21%
KATHMANDU HOLDINGS LIMITED 1.53% 1.33 End-of-day quote.3.91%
RIO TINTO GROUP 2.05% 121.77 End-of-day quote.6.98%
RIO TINTO PLC -2.76% 5751 Delayed Quote.8.03%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.65% 6780.6 Real-time Quote.3.61%
STEADFAST GROUP LIMITED 0.00% 4.07 End-of-day quote.2.01%
TOURISM HOLDINGS LIMITED -1.64% 2.4 End-of-day quote.-7.69%
VIRGIN MONEY UK PLC -1.99% 127.95 Delayed Quote.-2.97%
WOODSIDE PETROLEUM LTD -0.87% 26.33 End-of-day quote.15.79%
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