(Updates to close)
Dec 16 Australian shares closed on Friday at
their lowest in more than a week, as a stronger U.S. dollar hurt
precious metal miners and oil stocks.
The dollar stood near a 14-year peak, after the Federal
Reserve tightened monetary policy and as global markets
continued adjusting to the idea of higher interest rates.
The S&P/ASX 200 index shed 0.1 percent or 5.677
points to close at 5,532.9. The benchmark lost 0.5 percent on
Gold stocks were worst hit with most major producers adding
to the losses on the index. Resolute Mining Ltd closed
more than 10 percent lower while Newcrest Mining Ltd
fell 4.7 percent. The benchmark index ended at its
lowest level since March 2016.
Energy stocks drifted lower weighed down by an overnight
decline in oil prices. Shares of Beach Energy Ltd
closed nearly three percent lower and Caltex Australia Ltd
shed more than three percent.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index closed 0.17
percent higher, or 11.62 points, to finish the session at
6,760.24. However, it lost 1.9 percent over the week.
The index was supported by utilities and industrials with
Contact Energy Ltd ending 2.2 percent higher and
Auckland International Airport Ltd finishing up 0.8
(Reporting by Anusha Ravindranath in Bengaluru; Editing by