June 10, 2020 / 1:22 AM / a month ago

Australian shares set to snap 6-day rally ahead of Fed decision

* CBA hit with insurance class action, shares drop

* Aussie gold index jumps 2.8%

* NZ shares on course for a second day of declines

By Pranav A K

June 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped on Wednesday after six sessions of gains, with financials and energy stocks leading the declines, as investors adopted a more cautious stance ahead of a U.S. Federal Reserve policy decision later in the day.

The S&P/ASX 200 index edged down 0.4%, or 24.8 points, to 6,120.1 by 0038 GMT. The benchmark climbed 2.4% on Tuesday to its highest close in more than three months.

Asian equities slipped on Wednesday after most U.S. stocks pared gains made during their recent rally, although the Nasdaq benchmark reached its second straight day at a record high as oil prices rose.

Leading losses on the benchmark, energy stocks fell 2.3% after Brent crude futures retreated 1.8%.

Shares of Worley Ltd were down 4.22%, while Cooper Energy Ltd gave up 2.81%.

Financial stocks dropped 1.5% after closing at a three-month high in the previous session. Index heavyweight Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell 1.1% after the top lender was hit with an insurance class action.

Elsewhere, gold stocks jumped 2.8% on firm bullion prices. The sub-index was led by Bellevue Gold Ltd, up 10.63%, followed by Saracen Mineral Holdings Ltd that gained 7.08​%.

Meanwhile, Harvey Norman Holdings advanced 3.4% after the electronics retailer said it would pay a special dividend as sales to date at its domestic franchisees surged in the second half.

Tech stocks rose 1.4%, tracking U.S. peers after the Nasdaq index ended at an all-time high for a second straight day on the back of strong gains in tech-related shares.

In neighbouring New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dipped 0.3% to 11,267.2, on course for its second straight session in the red.

The top percentage loser in the benchmark was Tourism Holdings Ltd, down 7.92%, while Fletcher Building shed 2.7% after the country’s largest construction firm said it may not consider a dividend. (Reporting by A K Pranav in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

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