Australia shares slip as investors stay cautious; NZ rises
* Bank of Queensland slides on disappointing H1 results
* Miners fall as iron ore prices run out of steam
* New Zealand index snaps six-session losing streak
(Updates to close)
April 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Thursday,
dragged down by financials and mining stocks, as many investors
remained anxious about the global growth outlook and trade
The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.4 percent or 24.8
points to 6,198.7 at the close. The benchmark barely moved on
Investors shrugged off Wall Street's positive overnight
performance, having mixed emotions about minutes of the last
Federal Reserve meeting.
The Fed's forecast of no rate hikes in 2019 has cheered
investors, but that is rooted in expectation of slowing U.S.
growth. In the minutes, policymakers said a "deterioration" in
the U.S. economy could be amplified by large debt burdens at
James McGlew, executive director of corporate stockbroking
at Argonaut, said positive leads from the minutes "did not spill
over to our markets today as investors here remained cautious,
probably focusing on the lack of consensus among the U.S.
There is also concern about U.S. President Donald Trump's
threat of new tariffs on goods produced in the European Union,
and the Sino-U.S. trade dispute remains unresolved.
Mining stocks dropped 1.1 percent. Iron ore prices
rose slightly but remained far below a record high reached two
days ago amid a 7-day surge.
BHP Group fell 0.6 percent, while rival behemoth
Rio Tinto shed 1.3 percent. Fortescue Metals Group
gave up 1.2 percent.
Gold miners ran out of steam after four sessions of
gains. St Barbara tumbled 2.4 percent while Saracen
Mineral Holdings lost 1 percent.
Financial stocks were off 0.7 percent, falling for
the fifth session out of the last six. Commonwealth Bank of
Australia fell 0.5 percent and Westpac Banking Corp
by 1.3 percent.
Bank of Queensland fell 4.9 percent, most among
financial stocks, after reporting disappointing first-half cash
Export-oriented healthcare stocks also fell, as the
Australian dollar hit a six-week peak, with index heavyweight
CSL falling 1.2 percent while Cochlear shed
Healthcare companies generate a substantial portion of their
revenue overseas, particularly in the United States and strength
in the Aussie dollar negatively dents their earnings.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.6
percent or 58.64 points to finish at 9,766.6, snapping a six-day
Restaurant Brands New Zealand rose 2.6 percent.
(Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru; Additional reporting
by Aby Jose Koilparambil; Editing by Richard Borsuk)
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