Sept 30 (Reuters) - Australian shares were set for a
third weekly loss on Friday and the worst month in three,
tracking a broad global selloff, as recession fears sapped
stocks after the U.S. Federal Reserve failed to provide any
clues on tempering its hawkish stance.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.5%, as of 0020 GMT.
The benchmark was on track for its biggest monthly drop since
Investors added another cycle of selling after Fed officials
gave no indication about the U.S central bank changing its view
on rate hikes, leaving investors skittish about a potential
recession in the country.
Back home, the Australian central bank is likely to hike
interest rate by another 50 basis points in October in its most
aggressive tightening cycle since 1990s to curb red-hot
inflation, according to a Reuters Poll.
Tech index was the top loser, slipping 1.4% with
ASX-listed shares of Block dropping 3.5%.
Energy stocks lost 0.3% and were on track for their
worst month since last November. Sector heavyweights Woodside
Energy and Santos dipped 0.06% and 0.1%,
Financials dropped 0.8% with the "Big Four" banks
slumping nearly 1% each.
Bucking the sombre mood, miners advanced 0.7% as
iron ore futures were boosted by increased construction activity
in top steel producer China.
Iron ore behemoths BHP and Rio Tinto added
1.5% and 2%, respectively.
Gold stocks were the top gainers, jumping 1.1% on
strong bullion prices with the country's largest gold miner
Newcrest Mining rising 0.4%.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slid 1.6%
to 1106.88 points.
The Reserve Bank of New Zealand is expected to deliver its
fifth half-point interest rate hike next week and in November, a
Reuters poll of economists predicted.
(Reporting by Navya Mittal in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry