Australia shares snap 7-day winning streak, miners and banks fall; NZ down
* Aussie mining sub-index falls in tandem with benchmark
* Lower oil prices weigh on sentiment
* GrainCorp gains on spin-off announcement
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
April 4 (Reuters) - An extended rally in Australian shares
ran out of steam on Thursday, as investors took some money off
the table with all the recent outperformers turning tail in the
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.7 percent to 6,240.30
by 0026 GMT, having gained 0.41 percent in the previous day.
With the red-hot iron ore prices pushing the mining
behemoths higher, the benchmark scored its best uninterrupted
run of gains since October 2017, when it advanced for eight
trading days in a row.
All the major sector-based indexes were trading in the red
with declining issues outnumbering advancing ones by a 5-to-2
"It does seems to be a bit of profit-taking on the basis
that this a knee-jerk reaction out of the gates in trade today.
We need to watch the market through for the rest of the day to
see how it stabilises," said Kyle Rodda, market analyst at IG
Rodda said the encouraging retail sales figures and surge in
metal prices underpinned a healthy near-term outlook, adding
that he expected the market to resume its uptick soon.
The metals and mining sub-index, which has gained in
the past seven sessions in tandem with the benchmark, shed up to
0.8 percent in morning trade.
Index heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto
shed 1.3 percent and 0.8 percent respectively, while Fortescue
Metals Group, a firm which has largely benefited from
recent global iron ore supply concerns, declined 1.7 percent.
Financials, the largest sector in the benchmark,
declined with all the major lenders except the largest one -
Commonwealth Bank of Australia - slipping between 0.2
percent to 0.4 percent.
Also weighing on sentiment were lower oil prices after U.S.
government data showed a surprise build in crude inventories.
Energy stocks felt the heat, with the sub-index
dropping 1.5 percent. Oil and gas firm Beach Energy Ltd
fell about 3 percent, while oilfield services firm WorleyParsons
and gas producer Santos Ltd shed about 2
Bucking the trend, Australia's biggest listed bulk grain
handler GrainCorp Ltd rose to a one-month high after it
said it planned to spin off its malting business.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index fell 0.3 percent or 29.70 points to 9,909.56.
Energy firms Contact Energy Ltd and Genesis Energy
Ltd were among the top percentage losers, down more
than 1.5 percent each.
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru
Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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