Australian shares fall on banks and technology stocks

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Australian shares fell more than 1% on Monday as investors looked to US inflation data after last week’s strong jobs report dashed hopes the Federal Reserve will slow down interest rate hikes.

The S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.4% to 6665.9 by 0013 GMT, its biggest intraday drop since Sept. 26, driven by losses in banking and technology shares. The benchmark index rose 4.5 percent last week, its best weekly performance since early October 2020.

Wall Street’s main indexes fell sharply on Friday after a stronger-than-expected jobs report raised the possibility that the Federal Reserve will continue its campaign to raise interest rates that many investors fear will push the US economy into recession.

In Australia, financial sector heavyweights slipped 1.3%, heading for their worst day since late September. The so-called “Big Four” banks fell between 0.7% and 1.4%.

Mining stocks fell 0.6 percent, affected by weak copper and gold prices.

Gold miners led losses on the local bourse, with a drop of more than 4% in what could be their worst session in two weeks. Shares of Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources fell 3.0% and 4.1%, respectively.

Energy stocks also traded in negative territory, but were among the top performers, supported by higher oil prices.

Technology stocks fell on the Nasdaq. Block Inc shares in ASX fell 6.4%, ahead of losses for the sub-index.

Healthcare and real estate stocks fell 1.7% and 2.3%, respectively.

Meanwhile, Link Administration said it has partnered with Canada’s Dye & Durham on a non-exclusive basis to sell the corporate and banking sectors markets for A$1.27 billion. Australian share prices rose 0.6%.

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Johns Lyng Group shares fell 11% and were the biggest loser in the ASX 200 after the company said its CEO sold 4 million shares.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 1% to 10,993.1. (Reporting by Anan Ashraf in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

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