* Aussie govt expected to forecast record budget deficit
* Insurance Australia Group falls on settling class action
* Newcrest Mining jumps as Toronto Stock Exchange listing
Oct 6 (Reuters) - Australian shares traded lower on Tuesday,
dragged down mostly by financial and healthcare stocks, as
investors were reluctant to make big bets ahead of the federal
budget and key central bank policy decision.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.38% at 5,919
points, as of 0014 GMT. The benchmark ended 2.6% firmer on
The major focus for investors is the central bank's policy
review later in the day. A Reuters poll of economists showed the
bank will likely hold key rates.
"The market is looking down the barrels of two major risk
events in the RBA's (Reserve Bank of Australia) rate decision
and the federal budget, leading to it exercising caution," said
Kyle Rodda, an analyst with IG Markets.
"There is also a little bit of profit-taking at play, after
yesterday's rally," he added.
The government is expected to forecast a record budget
deficit of around A$200 billion ($142.7 billion) for 2020/21,
and include provisions for tax breaks and spending on
infrastructure and wage subsidies in the budget.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison has repeatedly called this
budget the most important since the World War II, as the
government tries to lift the virus-ravaged economy out of a
Among sectors, financials fell 0.6%, with the
so-called "Big Four" banks falling in the range of 0.6% to 1%.
Australia's second-largest insurer Insurance Australia Group
fell as much as 1.7% after agreeing to a class action
settlement of A$138 million over mis-sold insurance.
Healthcare stocks also fell, with heavyweight CSL
Ltd losing more than 1%.
On the other hand, gold stocks surged 3% as prices
of the underlying commodity rose on U.S. stimulus hopes and
against a weakening greenback.
The country's largest independent gold explorer Newcrest
Mining jumped nearly 2% as it received conditional
approval to list on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The number of issues in the ASX that advanced were 772,
while 495 declined.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index rose 0.3%, helped by buying in utility and
(Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry