| June 15
June 15 Australian shares fell on Thursday, hurt
by weaker energy and basic material stocks and an overnight dip
on Wall Street after the U.S. Federal Reserve hiked interest
The Fed raised interest rates on Wednesday for the second
time in three months, lifting its benchmark lending rate by a
quarter percentage point to a target range of 1 percent to 1.25
percent. The central bank also forecast one more rise this year.
"The rate hike was completely expected. The interesting
thing, though, were the other figures out last night, the CPI
numbers, which were very ordinary," said James McGlew, executive
director of corporate stock broking at Argonaut.
"But Janet Yellen then sort of confused the market by saying
it is the labour market that she has got her eyes on, and the
labour market in the United States is particularly strong at the
Australia shares saw a broad-based sell-off,
falling 1.2 percent, or 67.60 points, to 5,766.30 by 0240 GMT.
The benchmark had ended near one month highs on Wednesday after
four straight sessions of gains.
The Aussie dollar, however, jumped to a near
two-and-half month high after upbeat jobs data, which reinforced
the case for a stable interest rate outlook domestically.
Energy and basic materials shares were among the worst
performers on the index as commodities and oil prices remained
Mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto were off
2.8 percent and 3 percent respectively, while iron-ore miner
Fortescue shed about 2.2 percent.
Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search were
about 2 percent and 3.7 percent lower.
Banks, which led the gains in the past two sessions, were
down on profit-taking.
Australia's four biggest banks were the top losers on the
main board, falling 0.8 percent to 2.6 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.2
percent, or 14.94 points, to 7,500.27.
A two percent rise in fuel supplier Z Energy's
shares drove the energy sector up, while telecom and consumer
staples shares also gained as Spark New Zealand rose
0.8 percent, while healthcare products distributor EBOS Group
added 1.5 percent.
Fianancials stocks, however, were the biggest drag on the
main index as Westpac and ANZ's New
Zealand-listed shares lost over 1.2 percent each.
(Reporting by Rushil Dutta; Additional reporting by Christina
Martin in Bengaluru; Editing by Vyas Mohan)