October 25, 2018 / 12:58 AM / 10 months ago

Australian, NZ shares sink on the back of Wall Street rout

* Miners, financials lead losses in Australia

* Aussie shares fall to 1-yr low

* NZ benchmark touches near 6-month low

By Aby Jose Koilparambil

Oct 25 (Reuters) - Australian shares were battered in morning trade on Thursday, tracking the overnight Wall Street sell-off to fall to their lowest level in over an year.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell about 110 points, or 1.9 percent, to 5,719.10 by 0016 GMT, having declined as much as 2.1 percent in early trade. The index is well on track to post its worst monthly performance this year.

Asian share markets face a rough ride after a tumble in U.S. technology stocks inflicted the largest daily decline on Wall Street since 2011, wiping out all its gains for the year.

Disappointing forecasts from chipmakers and weak home sales data fuelled worries about economic and profit growth led to the renewed sell-off in the U.S.

The Australian benchmark posted an intra-day loss of 2.7 percent on Oct. 11, the last time domestic shares tracked a major Wall Street sell-off.

“The miners are likely to be under pressure because of the concerns about impact on global growth and banks too will feel the heat. It is hard to see anybody really winning in the current environment,” said independent analyst Greg McKenna.

“It looks like stocks need to go lower to find a base on which they can sustain themselves,” added McKenna.

All the Australian sector indexes traded in the red with the high-profile ASX Finance and ASX Metals and Mining each declining more than 2 percent.

Fewer than 10 stocks in the 200-constituent benchmark were trading in the positive territory with prominent gold stocks including Newcrest Mining Ltd and Resolute Mining Ltd defying the rout.

Gold prices were up 0.2 percent in early Asia trade and the ASX gold index was on track to post a second successive session of gains.

Wealth manager AMP Ltd fell as much as 6.3 percent after it said it would sell its Australian and New Zealand wealth protection and mature businesses to London-based Resolution Life, amid intense scrutiny from an independent investigation into the country’s financial sector for wrongdoing.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index also declined sharply, falling as much as 1.8 percent to near six-month lows with all its constituents trading lower in its fifth straight session of losses.

Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes

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