November 15, 2017 / 6:30 AM / a year ago

Australia shares decline for 4th straight session; NZ slips

(Updates to close)

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Australian shares finished lower on Wednesday, extending their decline to four straight sessions as sliding oil and metal prices weighed on commodity stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 0.6 percent or 34.546 points to 5,934.2, marking broad-based losses. The benchmark dropped 0.8 percent on Tuesday.

Material and financial stocks were the biggest burdens on the index with energy stocks also registering losses.

The Australian energy index shed 1.7 percent as global oil prices extended their fall from Tuesday after the International Energy Agency slashed its demand growth forecast for this year and the next.

Major miner BHP Billiton Ltd was the top drag on the index, shedding 2.2 percent while rival and Rio Tinto lost 2.7 percent.

Shanghai nickel and zinc slid alongside steel on Wednesday, echoing weak industrial data from China.

Westpac Banking Corp was the second biggest drag on the benchmark, falling 0.8 percent to its lowest in one month after the New Zealand central bank ordered its local unit to boost capital levels after failing to meet capital adequacy requirements.

The financial index lost 0.4 percent with Westpac the biggest drag.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.1 percent or 8.06 points to 7999.94.

Telecom and utilities stocks were the biggest losers on the main index.

Telco Spark New Zealand was the biggest weight on the index, having ended 1.9 percent down.

Westpac’s New Zealand listed shares fell 1.4 percent to their lowest in over a month. (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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