(Updates to close)
Dec 13 Australia shares stepped back on Tuesday
as investors were wary before the Federal Reserve meeting, where
it is expected to raise interest rates and provide a steer on
future monetary policy in the wake of Republican Donald Trump's
election win last month.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 17.8 points or 0.32
percent to 5,545 at the close of trade, snapping five
consecutive winning sessions.
Commodity firms and financials made up more than two-thirds
of the losses on the index, offsetting gains from real estate
and healthcare shares.
Miner Fortescue Metals fell 6 percent for its
biggest one-day slide in six months, pressured by falls in
Commodities tend to move lower when real interest rates rise
as supply increases and capital flows into higher yielding
Global miner Rio Tinto slipped 2.5 percent, while
BHP Billiton spin-off, South32 lost 2 percent.
Financial stocks slipped 0.6 percent, tracking their
U.S. peers. and ending a five-session streak of gains.
Westpac Banking Corp was the biggest drag, while
the other three of the 'Big four' fell between 0.6 percent to
Among the gainers, Telstra added 0.2 percent, while
biopharma firm CSL Ltd added 3.2 percent, and was the
biggest percentage gainer on the index.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell for
the third day, down 0.4 percent or 25.8 points to finish at
Losses were led by healthcare stocks. Ryman Healthcare
lost about 2.23 percent, while Fisher & Paykel
Healthcare shaved off 1.3 percent.
(Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri