(Updates to close)
Dec 5 Australian shares closed lower on Monday,
with losses led by financials, as investors digested the
potential impact on the markets of Italy's vote against
Italy's Prime Minister Matteo Renzi announced his
resignation stoking fears of political instability and renewed
turmoil for Italy's banks, pushing the euro zone towards a fresh
The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.8 percent, or 43.62
points, to 5,400.4 at the close of trade.
Financials fell 1.2 percent, after having gained
nearly 10 percent since the Nov. 8 U.S. presidential election.
The "Big Four" banks were among top drags on the main index,
falling more than 1 percent each.
Healthcare stocks, which had also gained
significantly after the elections tracking counterparts in the
U.S, ended 2 percent lower.
Biotherapeutics giant CSL Ltd shed 2.5 percent to
hit its lowest since Nov. 18, 2015.
In contrast, DUET Group soared 16 percent higher
after Hong Kong's Cheung Kong Infrastructure made a
A$7.3 billion ($5.44 billion) bid for the company.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.7
percent lower at 6,854.71, after Prime Minister John Key
unexpectedly announced his resignation on Monday.
Losses on the index were led by healthcare and consumer
Ryman Healthcare Ltd and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare
Corp lost 4.1 and 2.0 percent respectively.
($1 = 1.3430 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Geo Tharappel in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon