* ASX 200 loses 2.1% this week
* Most sub-indexes drop
* NZX 50 posts worst week in about three months
Sept 16 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed on Friday at
their lowest level in more than a week, with miners leading the
losses amid tepid iron ore prices, while risk appetite took a
hit after the central bank flagged more interest rate hikes to
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 1.4% lower at 6,747.00
points. The benchmark lost 2.1% this week.
Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe said
interest rates are closer to normalisation after a successive
run of outsized hikes, although he warned rates are still low
to bring inflation back to the bank's 2%-3% target range.
"The hope for peaked inflation ignited by the surprising
rise in the unemployment rate has been doused entirely by RBA
Chair Lowe's speech today," said Hebe Chen, market anaylst at IG
"We can expect rates to stay higher for longer," said
Jessica Amir, market strategist at Saxo Capital Markets, adding
that the market has priced in a 0.25% hike by the RBA next
Miners slipped 2.4% to touch a one-week low,
tracking a drop in iron ore prices. The sub-index lost 2.4% for
Rio Tinto, BHP Group and Fortescue Metals
slumped between 1.7% and 2.3%.
Financials retreated 0.8% in their fifth straight
weekly fall. Commonwealth Bank of Australia and
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group shed 0.9% and
An overnight dip in crude prices dragged Australian energy
stocks down 3% in their third consecutive weekly loss.
Woodside Energy and Santos fell 2.9% and 2.4%,
Meanwhile, a raft of U.S. economic data further dented
sentiment as it failed to alter the expected course of
aggressive tightening by the Federal Reserve.
Data showed that U.S retail sales unexpectedly rebounded in
August, while the number of people filing for new claims for
unemployment benefits fell to its lowest in more than three
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 closed 0.7%
lower at 11,580.46 points, marking its worst week since June 17.
(Reporting by Upasana Singh in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry