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Australian shares fall as banks weigh; NZ crawls higher
November 13, 2017 / 6:02 AM / 7 days ago

Australian shares fall as banks weigh; NZ crawls higher

(Updates to close)

Nov 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended slightly weaker on Monday, led lower by financial stocks, as two of the nation’s “Big Four” banks, Westpac and ANZ, traded ex-dividend.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 7.6 points or 0.1 percent to 6,021.8 at the close of trade.

Westpac Banking lost 2.3 percent and Australia and New Zealand Banking Group shed 2.7 percent with both banks touching their lowest in over one month.

Industrials were among the other losing stocks as toll road operator Transurban Group and Sydney Airport Holdings slid 1.6 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

Index losses were partially offset by material stocks, which rose on the back of strong iron ore and steel prices as output cuts in major Chinese steelmaking cities tightened supply.

Mining heavyweights Rio Tinto and BHP Billiton rose 1.1 percent and 0.8 percent apiece.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index snapped six straight losing sessions to end marginally higher.

The country’s main index was up 2 points at 7976.43, with losses in technology stocks largely offset by gains in consumer staples.

Accounting software company Xero Ltd weighed on the index, falling 4.2 percent and ended at its lowest in over one month.

Dairy firm a2 Milk Company Ltd closed up nearly 4 percent and was the top gainer on the main index.

Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes

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