| March 8
March 8 Australian shares edged lower on
Wednesday, hurt by losses in the materials sector, while New
Zealand shares opened flat after a technical glitch delayed the
start of trading by 90 minutes.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 8.19 points or 0.14
percent to 5753.2 by 0120 GMT.
"There is a push and pull between financials and resources.
For the markets to go high, we need both of them to move in the
same direction", said Mathan Somasundaram, market portfolio
strategist at Blue Ocean Equities.
"There isn't any positive catalyst in the resources sector
right now," he said.
Chinese iron ore futures fell for a third session on
Tuesday, pressured by rising stocks of the raw material at
China's ports and weaker steel prices, while copper fell to its
lowest in a month.
Iron ore miners BHP Billiton Ltd and Fortescue
Metals Group fell 1.02 percent and 0.84 percent
Gold prices were steady on Wednesday ahead of U.S. payrolls
data this week, but were not far from over four-week lows hit in
the previous session on increased expectations of a U.S. rate
hike in March.
Gold miners Evolution Mining Ltd fell 1.92 percent
while Northern Star Resources Ltd lost 2.27 percent.
Australia's benchmark mining index fell nearly 1
Bucking the trend, financial stocks rose, with big
banks National Australia Bank Ltd and Westpac Banking
Corp Ltd gaining 0.99 percent and 0.35 percent
Investors in Australia awaited the Chinese import and export
data for February, due at 0200 GMT.
The New Zealand stock exchange's opening was delayed
90 minutes on Wednesday due to a technical problem.
The benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was flat to 7165.97
points. Industrial sector was the biggest loser on the index.
Courier services provider Freightways Ltd was down
1.11 percent, making it among the biggest losers on the index.
(Reporting by Urvashi Goenka in Bengaluru; Additional reporting
by Anusha Ravindranath; Editing by Richard Borsuk)