U.S. Fed dashes hopes of pausing on hikes


Fund manager Perpetual gained 7.1%


Miners lead losses on ASX

Nov 3 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed lower on Thursday, after a hefty rate hike and hawkish messaging from the U.S. Federal Reserve startled global markets, with rate-sensitive banking stocks and domestic miners leading losses.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.84% to end at 6,857.9, after skidding 2.3% in earlier. The benchmark ended 0.1% higher on Wednesday.

The U.S. Fed shifted the outlook on tightening from short and sharp to long and high, putting to rest any thought of a near-term pause, with Chair Jerome Powell saying it was "very premature" to think about pausing and that the peak for rates would likely be higher than previously expected.

"The interest rate anxiety continues to be the Achilles' heel, not letting any recovery sustain for more than a week or so," said Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer of equity research firm Kalkine Group.

"Today's downturn can be attributed squarely to the Fed's 75 bps choice, which was followed by tough rhetoric by Jerome Powell," Sawhney said.

Heavyweight miners fell 3% despite climbing iron ore prices. BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group dropped between 2.9% and 3.7%.

Financials also fell 1.5%, with all of the "Big Four" banks losing between 1.2% and 1.8%.

Asset manager Perpetual closed up 7.1%, after it rejected a $1.07 bln buyout offer from a consortium of overseas and local private equity and funds management firms.

Shares of grocer Woolworths Group fell as much as 3.5%, as sales at its main Australian supermarkets unit contracted.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.87% to finish the session at 11,184.3. (Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)