Australian shares lower on fresh global trade, growth concerns
(Corrects third bullet & paragraph 16 to say NZ benchmark fell
for sixth straight session, not fifth)
* Mining giants BHP, Fortescue decline
* Gold stocks advance on higher prices
* NZ falls for 6th straight session
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
April 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares tracked their Wall
Street counterparts lower on Wednesday, on new global growth
worries and fresh trade tensions between the United States and
the European Union.
The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 0.2 percent to
6,212.60 by 0037 GMT, having ended little changed on Tuesday.
U.S. President Donald Trump said he would impose tariffs on
$11 billion of European goods, raising tensions over aircraft
subsidies that threaten to morph into a wider trade war.
Meanwhile, worries about global growth intensified after the
International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for world
economic growth this year, saying the global economy is slowing
more than expected.
The IMF outlook report said Australia's gross domestic
product growth would cool to 2.1 percent in 2019 from 2.8
percent last year.
"The lead from North America is a small negative this
morning. The previous market leaders, including BHP and
Fortescue are seeing a little bit of profit-taking," said Damian
Rooney, director of equity sales at Argonaut.
"With the U.S.-EU tariff issue and the IMF cut coming into
the picture, the global and macro factors are affecting the
market," added Rooney.
The metals and mining sub-index shed up to 0.7
percent with index heavyweight BHP Group and Fortescue
Metals Group dropping 1.2 percent and 1.7 percent,
Financials stocks, the largest sector in the
benchmark, were little changed.
Energy firms felt the heat as oil prices slipped from
five-month highs after Russia hinted a possible easing of its
production-cutting deal with OPEC.
Australia's biggest casino firm Crown Resorts fell
up to 10.8 percent after the World No.2 casino operator Wynn
Resorts said it ended talks to buy the Melbourne-based
Crown Resorts was the biggest loser on the benchmark in
percentage terms, posting its biggest intraday percentage loss
since October 2016.
In a bright spot, gold stocks shone with the sub-index
advancing 1.7 percent on higher prices for the yellow
Gold rose to its highest in more than a week as the dollar
and equities weakened after the IMF cut its growth forecast,
with increased central bank buying lending further support.
Big gold firms, including Newcrest Mining,
Evolution Mining and St Barbara Ltd, added
between 1.5 percent and 2.7 percent.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index extended losses for a sixth consecutive session,
falling 0.6 percent to 9,728.86.
Electricity and energy retailer Trustpower Ltd and
retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare Ltd were
among the top percentage losers on the benchmark, both falling
about 2 percent.
(Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by
First Published: 2019-04-10 03:17:23
Updated 2019-04-10 03:31:01
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