Aug 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Monday,
tracking Wall Street losses last week after U.S. Federal Reserve
Chair Jerome Powell reiterated a hawkish tone to battling
inflation, while miner Fortescue Metals skidded after posting a
lower annual profit.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.92% to 6,967.9 by 0117
GMT, with all sectors trading in the negative territory. The
benchmark ended 0.8% higher on Friday.
Powell said in his speech at the Jackson Hole central
banking conference the Fed will raise rates as high as necessary
to limit growth and tackle inflation, in what is said to be his
bluntest language yet about what is in store for the world's
Global risk appetite has been bruised after his blunt
remarks triggered a market rout amid a mounting risk of more
aggressive rate hikes.
Rate-sensitive technology stocks in Australia led
the retreat on the benchmark, falling about 4%, with ASX-listed
shares of Block Inc down 7.6% at A$97.8.
Fortescue Metals Group's shares fell 2.6% after the
world's fourth-largest iron ore miner took a hit to its
full-year profit, which fell 40% to $6.20 billion, and slashed
its final dividend from A$2.11 apiece declared last year to
A$1.21 per share.
Energy stocks, too, showed weakness on mixed oil
prices, falling 2.4%. Sector heavyweights Santos Ltd
and Woodside Energy Group skidded 2.5% and 2.8%,
Financials skidded 2%, with all of the so-called
"Big Four" banks trading in the negative territory.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index fell 0.57% to 11,542.5%.
Bucking the trend, shares of New Zealand's a2 Milk Co
climbed 9.5% after posting a better-than-expected
annual profit and forecasting a positive 2023.
(Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)