Nov 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Tuesday,
dragged by energy and gold stocks, as China's COVID-19 situation
and hawkish comments by a U.S. Federal Reserve official dented
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.2% to 7,214.60 by 2354
GMT, with weak moves across most of the sub-indexes.
China has been reporting a record spike in COVID-19 cases,
and aggressive restrictions to rein in the surge have caused a
civil unrest over the past few days, although investors are
hoping that Beijing could lift the curbs faster.
Weighing on investors' mood further, New York Federal
Reserve president said on Monday the U.S. central bank needs to
press forward with interest rate hikes.
Looking ahead, all eyes would be on U.S. November consumer
confidence data due later in the day.
Domestic energy stocks fell 1.9% as Brent crude oil
prices settled down.
Index heavyweight Woodside Energy dropped as much
as 5% as its production forecast for 2023 fell short of
Santos declined 1% after announcing a temporary
shutdown of its John Brookes Platform due to a small gas leak.
Local gold stocks slid 2.3%, making them the top
percentage losers on the benchmark, as gold prices
Top gold miners Newcrest Mining and Northern Star
Resources fell 2.2% and 2.6% respectively.
Miners slipped about 0.1% as Singapore iron ore
futures slumped on caution prompted by China's COVID-19
Financials dipped 0.3% with the "Big Four" banks
losing between 0.1% and 0.7%.
Only local health stocks rose 0.7%.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index
jumped 1% to 11,423.040.
(Reporting by Echha Jain in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)