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March 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares saw their worst day this year on Wednesday, led by financials, mirroring the sharp overnight fall on Wall Street.
The S&P 500 and Dow Jones Industrial Average fell more than a percent after investors saw the Trump administration’s struggles to push through the healthcare overhaul as a sign he may also face setbacks delivering promised corporate tax cuts.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 90.1 points or 1.56 percent to 5,684.5 at the close of trade, down for a third day, and recording its lowest since March 1.
The financial index shed 2.08 percent, its worst single-day percentage fall since November 2016, tracking similar losses in its U.S. financial counterpart.
ANZ Banking, Westpac Banking Corp and Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell more than 2 percent each.
Mining giants Rio Tinto, BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group fell 2.6 percent, 2.9 percent and 5.3 percent, respectively after copper, steel and iron prices dropped on Tuesday. [MET\L]
Gold stocks, however, jumped after prices held steady near a three-week high as risk-averse investors sought safer investments.
The gold index rose as much as 3.34 percent and hit its highest in three weeks.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.35 percent or 24.71 points to finish the session at 7,060.83.
Losses were led by industrials, with Auckland International Airport slipping 2.2 percent.
Westpac’s NZ shares were the biggest losers on the index, down 2.72 percent. (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)