Australia shares dip as healthcare stocks weigh but miners cap losses
* Healthcare firm CSL biggest drag on the index
* Miners make a comeback from Monday's losses
* Challenger the top percentage gainer on the benchmark
By Nikhil Nainan
Aug 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged lower on Tuesday
as losses among heavyweight healthcare stocks outweighed gains
in the mining sector.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was trading at 6,576.1 by 0215
GMT, down 0.2%, following a negative lead from the United
States. The index had gained 0.1% on Monday.
U.S. stocks dropped in a broad sell-off overnight as
tensions, including the Sino-U.S. trade war and Argentina's peso
crash, spooked equity investors and sent them to the relative
safety of gold or bonds.
Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets
Australia, said there was a big lift in trading volumes after
several Asian markets were closed for holidays on Monday.
"The surge in volume suggests we are seeing dip buyers
moving into the market," McCarthy said.
Heavyweight biotechnology company CSL Ltd fell 2%.
Elsewhere in the sector Cochlear dropped 3% and Mayne
Pharma Group fell 3.1%.
Iron ore miners, which have come under pressure from falling
prices, bounced back from losses in the previous session with
Fortescue Metals Group leading the gains.
Fortescue rose as much as 4%, while top miners BHP Group
and Rio Tinto each added 0.2%.
McCarthy said the gains in the sector appeared to be due to
support from day traders, adding he wasn't "seeing much evidence
that this is investment related"
On Monday, upbeat corporate earnings helped the index eke
out a fourth straight session of gains, but some investors seem
to be unwinding those positions on Tuesday. Bendigo and Adelaide
Bank, Ansell and JB Hi-Fi all fell a
day after reporting results.
Fund manager Challenger Ltd jumped 11.2% as it
maintained its fiscal 2020 earnings forecast and reported flat
Elsewhere, Westpac Banking Corp outperformed its
peers, rising 0.4%, after an Australian court dismissed a case
by the corporate regulator against it. The regulator had claimed
the country's second-largest lender used inappropriate standards
to approve thousands of mortgages.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell
0.3%, or 30.36 points to 10,842.38.
Auckland International Airport fell 1.6% while
Chorus dropped 2%.
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(Reporting by Nikhil Kurian Nainan in Bengaluru. Editing by
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