November 16, 2018 / 6:25 AM / a month ago

Australia shares end lower as tech sell-off stokes growth worries; NZ down

* Gains among miners offset by losses in other sectors

* Sentiment cautious, as broader Asian stocks hit

* Aussie benchmark posts weekly loss of over 3 pct (Updates to close)

By Rashmi Ashok

Nov 16 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended slightly lower on Friday as strong gains for miners were tempered by a cocktail of negative factors including a tech sell-off and Brexit turmoil.

The latest grim news for the tech sector, which has been under pressure in the U.S. over the past several weeks on earnings worries, came overnight on disappointing results from U.S. chipmaker Nvidia Corp which hammered its stock and triggered a wider sell-off.

The S&P/ASX 200 index eased 0.09 percent or 5.4 points to 5,730.6 at the close, bringing the weekly losses to a sizable 3.23 percent, largely hurt by global growth worries.

Turmoil in British politics also cast a cloud over markets as UK Prime Minister Theresa May’s draft divorce deal that would see Britain leave the European Union came unstuck after key ministers quit her cabinet.

A 2.1 percent rise in Dalian iron ore futures and an uptick in most base metals including copper helped Australian metals and miners tack on 1 percent.

Global miner BHP rose 1 percent while rival Rio Tinto Ltd added 1.9 percent.

However, these gains could not overcome losses elsewhere including in financials, healthcare and industrials.

“Australia isn’t prone to the kind of pressure that a stock like Nvidia would normally place on more tech based markets in Asia... but there’s some volatility and caution because there’s a full trading day left in the U.S.,” said Greg McKenna, founder of McKenna Macro.

Financial stocks shed early gains to close slightly lower, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia up just 0.1 percent while National Australia Bank Ltd shed 0.5 percent.

Healthcare stocks also weakened, with sector heavyweight CSL Ltd shedding 0.3 percent and Cochlear Ltd dropping 0.4 percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index shed 0.18 percent or 16.19 points to finish the session at 8,809.70. The benchmark lost 1.4 percent across the week.

Air New Zealand Ltd lost 1.8 percent while dairy giant a2 Milk Ltd gained 0.3 percent. (Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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