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Australia shares end marginally lower; NZ up
June 27, 2017 / 6:43 AM / 5 months ago

Australia shares end marginally lower; NZ up

(Updates to close)

June 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares trimmed early losses to end marginally lower on Tuesday, ending three sessions of gains.

Consumer staples and healthcare weighed on the index while gains on the financials sector cushioned overall losses.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.1 percent or 5.96 points to 5,714.20 at the close of trade. The index ended 0.1 percent higher on Monday.

“There’s no real catalyst to move markets at the moment,” said Chris Weston, an institutional dealer with IG Markets.

Blackmores Ltd fell 3.6 percent, dragging the consumer staples sector, after it said its Chief Executive and Managing Director Christine Holgate would move to Australia Post as CEO in September.

Metcash Ltd dropped 3.5 percent while Australian Agricultural Company Ltd ended 1.6 percent lower.

Healthcare stocks were also in the red with biotherapeutics company CSL Ltd falling 1.4 percent and Regis Healthcare Ltd shedding 2 percent to touch its lowest close in over nine months.

The gains on the financial and material sectors shored up the losses on the index.

Leading insurer QBE Insurance Group Ltd which fell 1.5 percent hitting over a six-month low earlier in the day, ended the session 1.3 percent higher.

Bank of Queensland Ltd closed 1.9 percent higher while BT Investment Management Ltd rose 1 percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.4 percent or 30.85 points to finish the session at 7,626.35.

Gains in materials were offset by the fall in utilities stocks.

Comvita Ltd was the top gainer on the index after it rose 6.7 percent to its highest close in over a month.

On the other hand, Scales Corporation Ltd was the biggest loser on the benchmark after it dropped 3.5 percent to its lowest close since May 30.

Reporting by Sindhu Chandrasekaran; Editing by Eric Meijer

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