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Company News

Australian shares hit near 3-week low as global virus cases resurge

* Australia, New Zealand see broad-based losses

* Aussie shares touch lowest level since Oct. 9

* Financials, utilities weigh on NZ benchmark

Oct 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares tracked global stock markets lower on Tuesday and hit a near three-week low, hurt by concerns about the global economic health as cases of the novel coronavirus surged in Europe and the United States.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 1.1% to 6,085.8 by 0044 GMT in a broad-based sell-off and was on course for its fourth straight session of losses. The benchmark slipped 0.2% on Monday.

Record daily jumps in infections in the United States, Russia and France weighed on Asian markets, while U.S. stocks dropped overnight as a surge in domestic cases added to worries over dimmed prospects of a stimulus package.

In Australia, the energy and the technology sub-indexes dived more than 2% each and led the declines on the benchmark.

Tech shares marked their worst intraday session since Sept. 24, while the energy sub-index touched a near three-week low.

The metals and mining index dropped 1.5%, with global miners Rio Tinto and BHP Group both down 1.4%.

Zip Co Ltd slid 5.8% and was the biggest percentage loser on the Australian benchmark, while online retailer Adore Beauty Group lost up to 5%, taking the newly listed company’s losses since listing to about 18%.

Elsewhere, Boral Ltd climbed 4.7% after the building materials supplier announced a 50% stake sale in USG Boral to Germany’s Gebr Knauf for A$1.43 billion ($1.02 billion).

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 1.2% to its lowest level in more than two weeks, with losses in financials and utility sectors weighing on the benchmark. ($1 = 1.4027 Australian dollars) (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)

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