(Updates to close)
Oct 13 Australian shares fell on Thursday with
resources under pressure, after weaker-than-expected Chinese
economic data and a slump in oil prices dampened investor
Mood soured after China's September trade data showed a
sharp decline in exports, raising fresh concerns about the
health of one of Australia's major trading partners.
Fears about an imminent rate hike in the United States
renewed after minutes from a meeting of Federal Reserve
policymakers last month indicated they might raise interest
rates if the U.S. economy continued to strengthen.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended down 0.71 percent at
5435.5, its lowest closing since Sept 28.
Energy and basic material stocks led the losses, with oil
majors Woodside Petroleum Ltd falling 1.6 percent and
Oil Search Ltd losing 3.6 percent. Large-cap miners
BHP Billiton Ltd ended down 2.9 percent while Rio Tinto
shed 2.7 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed up
0.18 percent to finish the session at 7120.05, powered by gains
in consumer cyclicals and utilities.
Fletcher Building was the top gainer on the
benchmark, ending higher at 4.6 percent, after posting its
biggest single day percentage gain in eight weeks. Meridian
Energy rose over 2 percent.
(Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by