* Miners snap four-day winning streak
* Technology stocks track Wall Street higher
* Software maker Appen soars on buyout offer
May 26 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed lower on
Thursday, led by mining stocks, as the mood in Asian markets was
subdued after minutes from the Federal Reserve meeting hinted
that the U.S. central bank would stick to rate hikes in coming
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.7% lower at 7,105.90.
The benchmark closed 0.4% higher on Wednesday.
Despite the sombre mood, technology stocks took
positive cues from Wall Street's strong finish and gained 1%.
Software maker Appen Ltd jumped 29.2% to top the
benchmark index after receiving a A$1.2 billion ($830 million)
buyout approach from Canada's Telus International.
Leading losses, Australian mining stocks snapped
their four-day winning streak and dropped 1.1% after iron ore
futures slumped on slowdown fears for China's economy.
Sector majors BHP Group and Rio Tinto fell
0.9% and 1.1%, respectively.
"We have held up pretty well through all the U.S. volatility
and think there is some profit-taking in resources today," said
Henry Jennings, senior analyst, Marcustoday Financial
Financial stocks fell 0.4% with three of the "Big
Four" banks losing between 0.3% and 0.7%.
Westpac Banking Corp traded flat after the lender
said it would sell one of its financial advisory businesses to
pension fund Mercer Australia.
Gold and energy stocks slumped 2.6% and
Qantas Airways rose 1.1% after the flag carrier
signalled changes to domestic capacity and fares to counter
surging fuel prices, saying it expects strong demand for air
U.S. Fed hiked its benchmark overnight interest rate by
50-basis-point - the first of that size in more than 20 years,
with most participants in the meeting backing furthur hikes.
Following Wednesday's rate hike, Reserve Bank of New Zealand
Governor Adrian Orr said that going early and fast remains the
best path for achieving its primary inflation and employment
The Reserve Bank of Australia could raise rates again next
month, but will be far less hawkish than the Fed or RBNZ,
Marcustoday's Jennings said.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed 0.6%
lower at 11,102.84.
(Reporting by Himanshi Akhand in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry