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By Soumyajit Saha
April 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended lower on Tuesday after the Treasury said it was not working on any new stimulus packages at the moment, while the country readied to relax some restrictions amid a decline in coronavirus cases.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 0.2% lower to close at 5313.1. The benchmark rose 1.5% on Monday.
Market participants were disappointed by the lack of new stimulus measures even as the underlying economic conditions remained dire, said Henry Jennings, senior analyst at Marcus Today.
Measures of Australian business and consumer sentiment suffered their steepest falls on record in March, while the central bank governor has predicted unemployment to be around 10% by June.
The subindex for energy stocks lost about 1.4% as oil prices dived on dwindling storage capacity and dismal demand.
Oil explorers Santos Ltd and Oil Search Ltd ended 1.9% and 1.6% lower, respectively.
Healthcare stocks also slipped, with benchmark heavyweight CSL Ltd falling 1.6% after rising for two consecutive sessions.
Gold stocks fell, with heavyweight Newcrest Mining down 2%, as gold prices fell in the face of easing coronavirus related restrictions in some countries.
Australia’s second-largest bank Westpac Banking Corp closed nearly 3% higher despite saying it would write down more than A$3.67 billion in its first-half results due to the pandemic.
Meanwhile, New Zealand’s benchmark index rose 3.3% to end at its highest close in over a week, as trading resumed following a holiday on Monday. (Reporting by Soumyajit Saha in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)