SYDNEY, March 20 - Australian shares fell 1.1 percent on
Thursday to finish at their lowest point in five weeks, after
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen rattled investors by
suggesting that interest rate hikes may come sooner than
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 58.4 points to 5,297.2,
taking it to its lowest close since February 11, with
heavyweight bankers and miners leading the slide. The benchmark
edged up 0.2 percent on Wednesday.
Australia's biggest department store Myer Holdings Ltd
dropped 5.3 percent to a one-month low, after it
reported a decline in first-half profits and offered a downbeat
outlook for the rest of year.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.2
percent to 5,145.4 points.
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang and Lincoln Feast; Editing by