May 7, 2014 / 6:30 AM / in 4 years

Australia shares hit 3-week low on Ukraine worries; budget eyed

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY, May 7 (Reuters) - Australian stocks dropped 0.8 percent to a three-week closing low on Wednesday, with broad selling rooted in worries about Ukraine and concern that next week’s federal budget will bring severe spending cuts that trim growth.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 45.6 points at 5,435.8, having touched its lowest level since April 16. The benchmark rose 0.4 percent on Tuesday.

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index erased early losses and edged up 0.3 percent to 5,189.1.

Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Richard Borsuk

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