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Australia shares dragged down by financials, energy stocks; NZ lower
February 7, 2017 / 2:15 AM / in 8 months

Australia shares dragged down by financials, energy stocks; NZ lower

Feb 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares were slightly lower on Tuesday, in line with Wall Street, as gains in gold and industrial stocks offset losses in the financial and energy stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.4 percent, or 24.87 points to 5,590.70 by 0119 GMT.

Bank stocks suffered the most in the region taking their cue from the U.S. financial sector, with the financial benchmark declining as much as 1.3 percent, to its lowest in nearly two months.

“There is a correlation between what is happening in the U.S. banks overnight and the Aussie banks,” says Chris Weston, an institutional dealer at IG Markets.

The S&P 500 financial index closed 0.4 percent lower overnight.

The “Big Four” banks fell 0.8 to 1.2 percent, while Macquarie Group Ltd shed 2.8 percent, after it reaffirmed flat full-year net profit because of a reduced contribution from its capital markets business.

Energy shares slipped after global oil prices fell as news of ample U.S. supplies offset the effect of OPEC output curbs.

The benchmark fell as much as 1.2 percent, posting its lowest in nearly 7 weeks.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd, Origin Energy Ltd and Santos Ltd fell 0.5 to 1 percent.

Meanwhile, material index rose 0.3 percent, with gold miners leading the gainers after the yellow metal jumped 1 percent to its highest in nearly three months.

The gold index climbed 4 percent, with Newcrest Mining Ltd, Northern Star Resources Ltd and Evolution Mining Ltd gaining 3.5 to 4.9 percent.

The industrial sector recorded gains after Transurban Group , reported a 42 percent jump in first-half profit and raised its full-year dividend guidance.

Shares of the toll road developer rose to their highest in nearly four months.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell as much as 0.4 percent, recording its biggest intra-day percentage fall in a week.

Industrials and healthcare stocks led the losses, with Auckland International Airport Ltd losing 1.4 percent, while Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd fell 1.6 percent.

For more individual stocks activity click on (Reporting by Krishna V Kurup in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Sandhya Sampath; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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