December 5, 2018 / 1:44 AM / 8 days ago

Aussie shares fall on U.S. slide, global growth worries; NZ also down

* ASX touches 2-week low, banks lead losses

* Lynas Corp top loser on ASX after Malaysia review

* Health, bank stocks push down NZX

By Devika Syamnath

Dec 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares sank on Wednesday, pressured by renewed concerns about slowing global growth and trade that triggered heavy selling on Wall Street overnight.

Australia’s benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell as much as 1.8 percent to a 2-week low. The benchmark, which ended 1 percent lower on Tuesday, traded down 69 points to 5,644.1 at 0043 GMT.

“There’s a very, very cool wind blowing through the Australian markets today. We’ve followed the overnight lead from Wall Street,” said James McGlew, executive director of corporate stockbroking at Argonaut.

Wall Street tumbled more than 3 percent on Tuesday, led lower by bank and industrial shares, as the U.S. bond market sent unsettling signs about economic growth and investors worried anew about global trade.

“Volatility is back on the menu and we’re seeing a very solid broad-based sell off ... there’s nowhere to hide,” said McGlew.

But domestic stocks barely reacted to data showing the Australian economy slowed more than expected in the last quarter, though it knocked the Aussie dollar.

Damian Rooney, director of equity sales at Argonaut said while the data was disappointing, global sentiment from last night is overwhelming the implications of the economic growth data, which is ultimately “backward looking.”

Financial stocks accounted for most of the index’s fall, with the “big four” banks giving up between 2.2 percent and 2.6 percent. The sector is set to fall for a third session out of four.

Australian banks have been under the cosh as a powerful year-long inquiry exposed widespread wrongdoing and misconduct at the country’s top lenders. The inquiry wound to a close last week and uncertainty surrounding its recommendations due in February has gripped the sector.

Material stocks also joined the general downtrend, losing as much as 1 percent in morning trade.

Global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto declined 0.5 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Weakness in industrial metal and ironore prices added to exacerbate the sector’s woes.

Shares of rare earth miner Lynas Corp Ltd tanked 26.4 percent in their worst intraday fall since 2014 after it said Malaysia’s decision to subject its local unit to two new pre-conditions for licence renewal was disappointing.”

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down 1.4 percent to 8,745.99 at 0029 GMT, boosted by banks and healthcare stocks.

Locally-listed shares of Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd were the top decliners on the benchmark.

The country’s e-commerce leader Trade Me Group received a NZ$2.56 billion ($1.78 billion) takeover offer from a U.S.-based private equity firm, trumping a higher bid from a London-based counterpart last month.

Trade Me’s shares bucked broader trend to hit a record high after the news.

$1 = 1.4418 New Zealand dollars Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Kim Coghill

0 : 0
  • narrow-browser-and-phone
  • medium-browser-and-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser
  • wide-browser-and-larger
  • medium-browser-and-landscape-tablet
  • medium-wide-browser-and-larger
  • above-phone
  • portrait-tablet-and-above
  • above-portrait-tablet
  • landscape-tablet-and-above
  • landscape-tablet-and-medium-wide-browser
  • portrait-tablet-and-below
  • landscape-tablet-and-below