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Australia and NZ shares end flat on cautious global backdrop
November 29, 2016 / 6:25 AM / a year ago

Australia and NZ shares end flat on cautious global backdrop

(Updates to close)

Nov 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended a touch lower on Tuesday as investors adopted a cautious stance after a weak Wall Street finish weighed on regional markets, with losses in the materials sector tugging on the main index.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.13 percent, or 6.9 points, lower at 5,457.5, at the close of trade.

The “Big 4” banks supported the financial sector, inching up 0.1 percent to 0.6 percent.

Those gains were not enough to keep the market in the black as mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto dropped more than 1 percent as iron ore retreated following the a pull-back in steel prices from a 31-month high.

Mineral sands explorer Iluka Resources Ltd slid as much as 3.7 pct, after it hinted at a delay in its proposed 215 million-pound takeover of Sierra Rutile Ltd.

Wall Street’s losses on Monday and political woes in Italy kept risk appetite in check through much of Asia’s trading session.

Telecommunications provider Vocus Communications Ltd plunged as much as 27.4 percent to its biggest one-day loss in more than 15 years, after the company’s earnings guidance disappointed investors

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.02 percent, or 1.21 points lower to finish the session at 6,901.75.

Skincare company Trilogy International Limited, fell as much as 10 percent, despite posting a 10 percent jump in half-year profit, due to uncertainty regarding opportunities in China. (Reporting by Hanna Paul in Bengaluru)

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