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March 27 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped on Monday in the wake of Wall Street’s fall on Friday, with mining stocks accounting for most of the slide.
President Donald Trump’s failure to get a healthcare plan through the U.S. House of Representatives raised questions about his ability to push through tax cuts and fiscal spending to boost the economy.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 6.85 points or 0.12 percent to 5,746.7 at the close of trade.
Some analysts expect a much more severe reaction to the failed healthcare legislation when the U.S. share markets reopen later on Monday.
The big pressure points for the Australian benchmark index were metal majors. BHP Billiton fell 2.9 percent, Rio Tinto was off 1.8 percent and Fortescue Metals down 3.0 percent.
They fell after Chinese steel and iron ore futures sank to their lowest in more than six weeks on Monday, amid mounting concerns about demand and growing inventories.
Origin Energy tried to contain the bleeding, ending up as much as 2.7 percent, to its highest in around five weeks, on the back of oil gains in U.S. overnight trading on Friday.
Shares of department store giant Myer Holdings spiked in the last few minutes of trading, and rose 18.3 percent for the day. The Australian Financial Review quoted sources as saying 10 percent of its shares were bought by Australian businessman Solomon Lew at a premium. (bit.ly/2o7GLpo)
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended 0.16 percent or 11.12 points lower, to finish the session at 7,062.71.
Auckland International Airport was the weakest performer on the index, knocking off 0.09 percent, while A2 Milk Company closed at a record high. (Reporting by Aparajita Saxena in Bengaluru; Editing by Richard Borsuk)