* Tech stocks end at near 4-week low
* Victoria reports biggest daily rise in three days
* Weak oil futures pull energy stocks to over 4-month low
Sept 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares finished at their
lowest in over two months on Wednesday, following a tech-led
rout on Wall Street, as a spike in infections in the country's
coronavirus hot spot Victoria weighed on sentiment.
Victoria on Wednesday reported its biggest rise in daily
cases in three days as the state boosted its contact tracing
programme to ease the spread of the virus.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 2.2% to 5,878.6 at the
close of trade, its lowest since June 30.
That follows Wall Street's overnight losses as heavy-weight
technology companies tumbled for a third straight session and
sent the Nasdaq into correction territory.
"I'm more and more certain that we have seen the peak
particularly in U.S. tech stocks, and they were the only things
holding up the broader market," said Brad Smoling, managing
director at Smoling Stockbroking.
"And naturally Australia is going to sell-off in sympathy
Local tech stocks fell 2.4%, with Afterpay giving up
1.3% and accounting software firm Xero shedding 2.1%.
Also hurting sentiment was news that AstraZeneca, a
front runner in the global COVID-19 vaccine race, said it had
paused a late-stage trial of its vaccine candidate following an
unexplained illness in a study participant.
However, the Australian deputy chief medical officer Nick
Coatsworth said the country was not worried about the pause in
Energy stocks, down 4.7%, led declines as oil prices
extended their steep losses into Wednesday.
Woodside Petroleum tumbled 4.4%, while Santos
fell 5.4% and were the biggest drags on the sub-index.
Top lenders Commonwealth Bank of Australia and
Westpac Banking Corp were the biggest percentage losers
among financials, down 2.5% and 3.3%, respectively.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index lost 1.3%
to finish the session at 11,739.11, with financials and
utilities tumbling the most.
(Reporting by Arpit Nayak in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren