* Financials main laggards on Aussie bourse
* Gains in tech stocks limit some losses
* Lynas jumps 7% on Mt Weld expansion plan
Aug 3 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed lower on
Wednesday, dragged down by heavyweight financial and resources
stocks, after three U.S central bank officials reaffirmed the
need to raise interest rates to curb inflation at the risk of
The S&P/ASX 200 ended 0.3% lower at 6,975, snapping
a six-session winning streak, as investors weighed the potential
fallout from U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan,
which China furiously condemned.
"The market is caught in a pretty uncertain period now,"
said Mathan Somasundaram, chief executive officer at Deep Data
"Fed officials have watered down the idea of slowing
interest rate hikes in the future and falling global sentiment
is also partly due to Pelosi's visit to Taiwan."
In Australia, financials weighed the most on the
benchmark as they fell 1.4% in their worst session since July
15. The "big four" banks shed between 0.4% and 1.6%.
Energy stocks slipped 0.4% as oil prices eased ahead
of a meeting of OPEC+ producers. Sector leaders Woodside Energy
and Santos dropped 0.3% and 2.1%,
Technology stocks gained about 2.1%, with accounting
software provider Xero and ASX-listed shares of Block
Inc up about 3.6% and 5%, respectively.
"I would suggest the tech sector is taking cues from U.S. &
China tech earnings results providing some confidence & relief
in the sector," said Azeem Sheriff, a market analyst from CMC
Rare earths miner Lynas outperformed the benchmark
index with a 7% jump after it unveiled plans to invest A$500
million to expand capacity at its Mt Weld mine.
Fund manager Pinnacle Investment Management Group
jumped more than 12% in its best day since July 28, 2020 and
topped the ASX 200 after posting robust annual results.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed 1.5%
higher at 11,705.
(Reporting by Archishma Iyer in Bengaluru; Editing by