| Sept 15
Sept 15 Australian shares nudged lower on
Thursday, dragged down by industrials and energy stocks as
investors grappled with plunging oil prices and worries over the
ability of world's major central banks to stimulate growth.
Oil prices fell about 3 percent for a second straight day on
Wednesday, after data showing large weekly builds in U.S.
petroleum products offset a surprise draw in crude stockpiles.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 16.59 points, or 0.3
percent, to 5,211.1 by 0210 GMT.
"There is still a lot of uncertainty. I was quite surprised
by how much the volatility dried up in August and what you see
now is a return of it again as people start to try to make sense
of all this noise (around policy)," said James McGlew, executive
director of corporate stockbroking at Argonaut.
While expectations over a U.S. Federal Reserve rate hike at
next week's policy meeting have dimmed, investors have been
bracing for a tightening before year-end.
Perceived limits to the broad monetary easings led by major
central banks such as the European Central Bank and the Bank of
Japan have also soured risk sentiment, driving global debt
Industrials and energy stocks were the biggest drag on the
index, accounting for nearly half of the losses.
Energy stocks fell for a fourth straight session on the back
of tumbling oil prices, hitting a low not seen in two months.
Oil majors Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search
fell more than 1.5 percent.
Top listed travel agent Flight Centre Travel Group Ltd
plunged more than 4 percent, recording its biggest
intraday percentage loss since June.
Qantas Airways Ltd snapped two sessions of gains to
slide 1.5 percent.
Australia's biggest bank by market cap, Commonwealth Bank of
Australia, extended gains to climb 1.6 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index extended
losses into a sixth-straight session, falling 0.3 percent or
18.07 points to 7,192.65.
Gross domestic product rose a seasonally adjusted 0.9
percent in the second quarter versus the prior quarter, a tad
below expectations. Economists polled by Reuters expected 1.1
percent growth on the quarter.
Telecom, healthcare and financial stocks dragged the index
Freightways Ltd was among the biggest losers on the
index, down 3 percent, while TOWER Ltd fell 2.5
Steel goods manufacturer Steel & Tube Ltd was the
biggest percentage loser on the benchmark, plummeting more than
7 percent in its biggest intra-day percentage loss in nearly six
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(Reporting by Shashwat Pradhan; Additional reporting by Rushil
Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Eric Meijer)