* Afterpay rises to all-time high on Westpac tie-up
* BHP shares down despite higher Q1 iron ore output
* Miners post biggest intraday drop in almost two weeks
Oct 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares followed global markets
lower on Tuesday as record daily coronavirus infections in
Europe fuelled fears of more severe lockdowns, with mining,
financials and energy stock leading the retreat.
However, losses were checked by technology stocks as
buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay Ltd jumped past the
A$100 mark for the first time after announcing a deal with
Westpac Banking Corp to offer savings accounts and
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 0.3%, or 18.600 points,
to 6,210.10 by 0139 GMT, as global risk sentiment took a hit
after parts of the UK and Spain went into lockdown while France
imposed curfews to contain a surge in COVID-19 cases. On Monday,
the benchmark had gained 0.9%
Afterpay jumped 5% to top the benchmark index, helping the
tech sub-index rally nearly 3% to hit an all-time high.
Among other gainers on the IT index, data centre services
provider NEXTDC rose 1.6% and software maker WiseTech
Global added about 2%.
The metals and mining index fell 0.4% in its worst
intraday drop in nearly two weeks.
BHP Group Ltd slipped 0.7%, despite reporting a 7%
rise in first-quarter iron ore output, as weak metal prices
pressured global miners.
Rival Rio Tinto Ltd was 0.3% lower.
Financials eased 0.4% with Westpac and National
Australia Bank, two of the "Big Four" lenders, dropping
0.9% and 0.1%, respectively.
The ASX 200 energy index fell 0.3%, led by petroleum
refiner Viva Energy Group Ltd, down 2.7%, and
Whitehaven Coal Ltd, losing 1.5%.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
0.3% to 12,417.1.
Among the top percentage gainers on the index, marine port
services provider Port of Tauranga Ltd rose 2.7% and
Infratil Ltd advanced 1.8%.
(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by