November 20, 2018 / 1:41 AM / in 7 months

Aussie shares fall, tracking Wall Street; NZ down

* Tech stocks lose in line with U.S. peers

* Financial shares fall for 7th straight session

By Niyati Shetty

Nov 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell for a third straight session on Tuesday, tracking losses on Wall Street and weighed down by fears that renewed U.S.-China talks will not make much progress in resolving their bitter trade dispute.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.7 percent or 41.9 points to 5,651.8 points by 0100 GMT, extending a 0.6 percent drop on Monday.

“Fundamentally, it looks like there’s much more unseen global growth slowdown next year (and) at the same time higher global interest rates are taking the steam out of equities market,” said Kyle Rodda, market analyst at IG Markets.

Reports that Apple Inc cut production orders in recent weeks triggered sell-offs across equity markets and added to worries about softening global economic growth.

The tech index fell as much as 2.9 percent. Sector heavyweights Computershare Ltd and Xero Ltd fell 2.1 percent and 4 percent, respectively.

“There’s slightly less confidence that there will be some kind of trade friendly outcome coming out of the negotiations that could occur at the G20 (summit),” Rodda added.

U.S. President Donald Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping are due to meet at the G20 summit in Argentina later this month.

Most economists doubt there will be a breakthrough on trade but hope there is a chance of some de-escalation in the dispute.

Australian healthcare firms, which conduct the bulk of their business in the United States, fell 1.8 percent as the U.S. dollar weakened.

Drugmaker CSL Ltd fell 1.8 percent and hospital operator Ramsay Health Care Ltd lost 1.5 percent.

Meanwhile, financial stocks fell for a seventh straight session with the country’s biggest lenders Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp declining 0.8 percent and 0.4 percent, respectively.

The energy index fell despite oil prices stabilising due to underlying pressures of oversupply and falling demand.

“Perception is that oil prices still have further to fall,” Rodda said.

The metals and mining shares fell, with index major South32 Ltd 1.5 percent down.

Bucking the trend, the gold index gained as gold prices edged up after investors turned to the safe haven yellow metal.

Gold miner Northern Star Resources Ltd gained 1 percent, while peer Regis Resources Ltd was 1.4 percent up.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.2 percent or 17.85 points to 8,775.08.

Construction materials maker Fletcher Building Ltd fell 7.4 percent and dropped to a more than nine year low after it flagged weaker earnings for fiscal 2019.

The dual listed company was the worst performer in the New Zealand index and among Australian shares.

However, a2 Milk rose as much as 6.1 percent after it booked a 58.5 percent rise in four month core earnings.

Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

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