February 8, 2019 / 6:11 AM / 10 months ago

Australia shares sag on miners, energy stocks; NZ up

* Energy stocks snap 4-day winning streak

* U.S.-Sino trade concerns weigh on oil, metal prices

* Rio Tinto snaps 3-day rally (Updates to close)

Feb 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended lower on Friday, with energy and mining stocks accounting for more than half of the losses as resurgent U.S-China trade tensions drove investors away from risk-sensitive assets. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.34 percent, or 21 points, to 6,071.5. The benchmark rose 1.1 percent on Thursday, and was up 3.4 percent for the week.

Sentiment across financial, crude oil futures and metal markets was dampened after the United States downplayed the possibility of signing a trade deal with China before the March 1 deadline.

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Thursday he did not plan to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping before a March 1 deadline set by the two countries to achieve a trade deal.

The news sent Australia’s China-dependent mining and energy stocks sharply lower, dragging the benchmark.

Oil producer Beach Energy fell as much as 10.4 percent, its biggest drop since Nov. 21, while sector heavyweight Santos Ltd slumped 4.4 percent.

Mining behemoth Rio Tinto dropped 1.8 percent and snapped a 3-day winning run, while BHP Group and Fortescue Metals Group lost 1.5 percent and 1.6 percent, respectively.

Financials stocks erased early gains to end 0.2 percent lower, with National Australia Bank slipping 0.7 percent and seeing its worst day in nearly 1-1/2 weeks.

The country’s fourth biggest lender dropped the most amongst its peers after its chief executive and chairman quit their posts following a major inquiry into the financial sector that exposed widespread misconduct.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.47 percent or 43.1 points to 9,176.61.

Retirement village operator Ryman Healthcare was the biggest percentage gainer, up as much as 4.5 percent.

Reporting by Syed Saif Hussain Naqvi in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes

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