* ASX 200, NZX 50 mark worst month in four
* Fintech firm Tyro Payments top loser on ASX 200
* Australian financials stocks fall over 3% in May
(Updates to close)
May 31 - Australian shares ended lower on Tuesday, posting
their biggest monthly drop in four, with technology and
financial stocks leading losses, as higher first-quarter imports
raised uncertainty about upcoming growth data and interest rate
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1% lower at 7211.2. The
benchmark has lost more than 3% in May.
Australia's current account surplus shrank unexpectedly in
the first quarter, partly due to a jump in imports, fuelling
uncertainty over the GDP data releasing Wednesday, a vital data
point in determining the scale of the next interest rate move by
its central bank.
"One can expect the share market to remain volatile
following the release of March quarter GDP data, which will be
closely watched by the RBA for its interest rate decision next
week," said Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer of Kalkine
Still, analysts at RBC raised their first-quarter GDP
outlook to 1.1% from 0.7% earlier, buoyed by a much stronger
inventory build up coupled with upside government expenditure.
Broader sentiment was also subdued in early Asian trading
though it recovered, helped by after upbeat factory activity
data and details of new policy support in China.
Financials, down 2%, fell most since May 6. All top
four banks in Australia dropped between 1.4% and 2.8%.
Technology stocks snapped a three-day rally, falling 1.9%.
Sector majors Xero, Block and Wisetech Global
slipped between 2.5% and 3.2%.
Fintech company Tyro Payments was the top loser on
the benchmark among individual stocks, slumping 6.6%.
Bucking the trend, gold stocks surged 0.4% to a near
one-week high, with heavyweights Newcrest Mining and
Evolution Mining adding 0.1% and 0.5%, respectively.
New Zealand's S&P/NZX 50 rose 1.5% to 11308.3, but
ended more than 4.8% lower for the month.
(Reporting by Roushni Nair in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi