May 23 Australia shares held steady on Tuesday,
with supports from health care and consumer stocks counteracted
by losses in financials and iron miners.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 4.105 points or 0.07
percent to 5,767.1 by 0220 GMT.
The index opened the session higher, but remained well off
previous sessions peaks, and traded on either side of flat till
Biopharmaceutical company, CSL Ltd was the top
performer on the index, posting its biggest intraday gain in
nearly two weeks. The wider healthcare index rose nearly
Gold stocks rose on the back of higher bullion
prices, as a suspected terrorist attack in Britain out the
metal's safe haven status in play.
At least 19 people were killed and 50 wounded in a blast at
a concert in Manchester, where U.S. singer Ariana Grande had
The dollar's weakness against the the euro provided
"The situation in Manchester is supporting gold prices at
the moment, which is hitting a significant technical level here.
Most Australian gold stocks are responding to that," said James
McGlew, executive director of corporate stock-broking at
Evolution Mining and St. Barbara, gold
majors, rose more than 3 percent each.
The downside came from the 'Big four' banks which fell less
than a percent, after they issued strongly worded statements
attacking the government's new levy on big banks on Monday.
Estimating nearly A$1 billion ($748.10 million) in
additional annual costs between them due to the levy, the banks
said the new tax would impact not just the bank, but its
customers and shareholders.
However, Deutsche Bank said that estimates "suggest the
headwind from the levy may not be as large as initially
"Based on Deutsche Bank forecasts, these estimates translate
to an impact of around 2 percent to 4 percent on 2018 financial
year cash earnings, which is less than our initial estimates of
4 percent to 6 percent for the majors," it added.
Adding to losses were iron miners, BHP Billiton,
Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group which
fell after ore traded on the Dalian Commodity Exchange
fell 0.1 percent on Tuesday.
The metals index fell 0.5 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped
0.29 percent or 21.74 points to 7,387.76, hurt by telecom and
The country's largest provider of mobile phone services,
Spark New Zealand slipped 1.74 percent, while fuel
supplier Z Energy Ltd fell 1.4 percent.
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($1 = 1.3367 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Aparajita Saxena; Additional reporting by Susan
Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)