Gold, energy stocks drag Australia shares lower; set for first weekly jump in five

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Dec 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Friday, dragged down by energy and gold stocks due to weakness in prices of their underlying commodities, but they were on track to post their first weekly gain in five.

The S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) was down 0.4% at 7,352.2 by 1155 GMT. It was set to add 1.6% for the week.

Energy stocks (.AXEJ) were the top losers on the benchmark, after oil prices dropped overnight on fears about the economic outlook in China, the world's biggest oil importer following ratings downgrades to two Chinese property developers.

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Whitehaven Coal Ltd (WHC.AX), down 3.2%, led losses, followed by Beach Energy Ltd (BPT.AX), trading 1.7% lower.

Gold stocks (.AXGD) fell 1.36% led by De Grey Mining Ltd (DEG.AX), down 3.17%, followed by Pantoro Ltd (PNR.AX), losing 3.13%.

The sub-index was tracking a downturn in bullion prices, after data showed a big drop in U.S. jobless claims ahead of an inflation report that could influence the Federal Reserve's monetary strategy.

Mining stocks (.AXMM) fell 0.45%, after iron ore futures in Asia slipped on Thursday. Index heavyweight BHP Group (BHP.AX) fell 0.7%

Fortescue Metals (FMG.AX), however, rose 0.4%, after the miner said its Chief Executive Officer Elizabeth Gaines would be stepping down as it moves from a pure play iron ore producer to a diversified renewable energy and resources firm. read more

In New Zealand, the benchmark (.NZ50) fell 0.1% to 12,762.92 points. The top percentage losers were Skycity Entertainment Group Ltd (SKC.NZ), down 1.56%, followed by Meridian Energy Ltd (MEL.NZ), losing 1.46%.

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Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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