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Australia shares end lower; NZ loses for second session
January 13, 2017 / 6:21 AM / in 9 months

Australia shares end lower; NZ loses for second session

(Updates to close)

Jan 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended lower on Friday tracking Wall Street, pulled down by financial and basic material stocks, and recorded their first weekly fall in four.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.8 percent lower, or 45.754 points, at 5,721.1, having lost 0.6 percent over the week.

Wall Street clsoed lower on Thursday ahead of fourth-quarter results and in anticipation of President-elect Donald Trump’s economic policies as his press conference earlier this week failed to provide any clarity on the matter.

The Australian financial index was 1.4 percent lower, adding to the 1.3 percent weekly loss, with the ‘Big Four’ banks losing over 1 percent each. Westpac Banking hit its lowest in 2 weeks, shedding 1.6 percent.

Basic material stocks were also lower with rising iron ore and base metal prices failing to inspire. Mining giants Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals fell 1.2 and 2.2 percent respectively while BHP Billiton lost 0.1 percent.

Origin Energy and AGL Energy gained 3.2 percent and 0.2 percent respectively on the back of rising oil prices.

Other energy stocks did not get a boost from higher oil prices with Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search falling 0.3 percent and 0.5 percent respectively. The energy index ended the session up 0.4 percent, logging a weekly gain of 1.8 percent, its best week since late November.

Gold stocks followed the weakness in the metal prices with Evolution Mining losing 3.2 percent and Resolute Mining falling 4.4 percent. Newcrest Mining, though, gained 0.5 percent. The gold index was down 1.1 percent having gained 0.1 percent over the week.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended down 0.24 percent, or 16.62 points, at 7,046.97 in its second straight session of losses. On the week, the index gained 1.1 percent.

The index was dragged down by banks, with ANZ and Westpac shedding more than 2 percent each. A2 Milk company lost 1.8 percent. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Gopakumar Warrier)

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