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Banks, commodity stocks weigh on Aussie shares, NZ falls

Stock MarketsNov 14, 2018 17:40
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© Reuters. Banks, commodity stocks weigh on Aussie shares, NZ falls

* Miners fall on softer copper, iron ore prices

* Energy stocks hurt by plunge in oil prices

* Aussie shares of CYBG is a "shining light" in the banking sector- analyst (Updates to close)

By Shriya Ramakrishnan

Nov 14 (Reuters) - Banks and commodity stocks led declines in Australian shares on Wednesday against a backdrop of broader losses in global equities, pressured by concerns of slowing growth.

World oil prices slumped on weakening demand and supply glut concerns. Sluggish corporate earnings as well as Sino-U.S. trade tensions have kept investors away from riskier assets over the past couple of months. MKTS/GLOB O/R

Australia's S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO slipped for a second straight session, closing 1.7 percent down at 5,732.8. The benchmark closed 1.8 percent lower on Tuesday.

Bank stocks .AXFJ closed nearly 2 percent lower as they continue to bear the brunt of explosive findings from a Royal Commission inquiry into financial sector misconduct.

The 'Big Four' banks lost between 2.3 percent and 3 percent for the day.

"There is a broad based sell-off in the banking sector, and the concern is that this is being done with a decent volume today...there is fear in the air," said James McGlew, executive director of corporate stockbroking at Argonaut.

McGlew added that with certain findings from the Royal Commission yet to be handed down, the banking sector is still in the spotlight.

"Clydesdale (Bank) today is a shining light in a banking sector that is otherwise down significantly," said McGlew.

UK-based Clydesdale Bank Plc was spun off from National Australia Bank NAB.AX in 2016. Australia-listed shares of Clydesdale's holding company CYBG PCL CYB.AX rose 3.4 percent, its biggest intra-day percentage gain in over 5 months.

Metals and mining stocks .AXMM also dragged the market to close nearly 2.4 percent lower, hurt by copper and iron ore prices. MET/L IRONORE/

Global miners BHP Billiton (LON:BLT) BHP.AX and Rio Tinto (LON:RIO) RIO.AX fell 2.3 percent and 2.6 percent, respectively.

Energy stocks .AXEJ fell 2.6 percent, with sector heavyweight Woodside Petroleum Ltd WPL.AX losing 2.5 percent and Santos Ltd STO.AX declining 5 percent.

Bucking the trend, telco Telstra Corporation Ltd TLS.AX rose 0.7 percent, thanks to its attractive dividend, said McGlew.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 fell nearly 0.4 percent to finish the session at 8,827.74.

Express package and mail service provider Freightways Ltd FRE.NZ led losses, down 6.2 percent. A2 Milk Ltd ATM.NZ fell 2.8 percent.

Banks, commodity stocks weigh on Aussie shares, NZ falls
 

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