Australian shares fall on U.S. earnings caution; NZ slips
* Energy stocks major gainers on Aussie benchmark
* Gold stocks push mining index lower
* Healthcare stocks advance
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
April 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares declined on Tuesday as
losses in financial and gold stocks capped broader gains driven
by the energy sector.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.2 percent to 6,212.10
by 0113 GMT. The benchmark had ended 0.7 percent higher on
On Wall Street, the S&P 500 and the Nasdaq edged into
positive territory, but the gains were checked by falling
industrials as investors braced for the first quarter of
contracting earnings since 2016.
"There is not a lot of conviction out of the U.S. market as
well as the Aussie market," said Christopher Conway, senior
investment advisor at Marcus Today. "That is because of lot of
macro issues, which are at play including the U.S-China trade
talks and the expectations of decline in earnings per share
during the U.S. reporting season."
Financials, the largest sector in the benchmark, were the
main drag on the market with all Big Four banks trading between
0.3 percent and 0.6 percent lower.
The financial sub-index slid up to 0.6 percent in
Gold stocks snapped two sessions of gains to drop up
to 1 percent with prominent miners of the yellow metal Newcrest
Mining Ltd and Evolution Mining Ltd both
The losses in gold firms weighed on the metals and mining
index despite index heavyweights BHP Group and
Rio Tinto putting on about 0.1 percent each.
China's steel futures on Monday surged on a seasonal upturn
in demand, lending support to prices for iron ore, which
extended a record-breaking rally fuelled by worries over
Copper prices also rose on news of fresh stimulus measures
in top metals consumer China and hopes for a Sino-U.S. trade
Energy stocks were among the major gainers with oil prices
up about 2 percent, hitting five-month highs on expectations
that supply would tighten due to fighting in Libya, OPEC-led
cuts and U.S. sanctions against Iran and Venezuela.
The energy index gained as much as 1.8 percent with
Beach Energy Ltd up about 4 percent while Santos Ltd
put on 2.6 percent.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index dropped slightly, falling 0.1 percent to
Billing service provider Gentrack Group Ltd was
among the top percentage gainers on the benchmark, advancing
about 2 percent, while retirement village operator Summerset
Group Holdings Ltd shed more than 2 percent.
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by
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