Jan 10 (Reuters) - Financials and energy stocks dragged Australian shares lower on Tuesday, following the trend on Wall Street, as investors took profits after five sessions of gains, prompted by a 4 percent fall in oil prices.
The S&P/ASX 200 index slid 0.9 percent, or 53.345 points, to 5,754 by 1251 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.9 percent on Monday.
“Markets have done quite well over the last couple of weeks so we are seeing a bit of profit taking on the back of a sell-off in oil last night,” said Danial Moradi, an equity strategist with Lonsec.
The S&P ASX Financials Index fell as much as 1.27 percent, to end a five-session bull run.
The “Big 4” banks lost 0.7 percent to 1.6 percent among which Westpac Banking Corp recorded its biggest loss in more than five weeks.
“Our banks have done extremely well in the last month or so From the valuation perspective they are a little bit stretched,” said Moradi.
Oil prices dropped 4 percent after record Iraqi crude exports and rising U.S. output, and increased supplies from Iran undermined a producer pact to curb oversupply .
Oil and gas giants Woodside Petroleum and Santos Ltd slipped as much as 1.2 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.
S&P/ASX Energy 200 (GIC) Index sank as much as 1.3 percent, its biggest one-day loss in 3 weeks.
Mining giant BHP Billiton fell 1 percent, and is on track for its third consecutive session of losses.
Crown Resorts Ltd slid as much as 2.1 percent after Robert Rankin stepped down as Chairman of the entertainment and gaming company.
Bucking the trend, gold rose to a five-week high, as U.S. markets reassessed the outlook and prepared for President-elect Donald Trump’s administration.
Gold miners Resolute Mining and Newcrest Mining rose 3.2 percent and 1.9 percent respectively.
Declining issues outnumbered advancers on the benchmark by 161 to 34.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index gained 0.2 percent, or 11.88 points, to 7,024, its highest in 12 weeks.
Fisher and Paykel Healthcare Corporation Ltd is on track for its second straight session of gains, rising as much 1.14 percent to touch its one month high.
Meridian Energy, reached its highest in two months, gaining as much as 0.8 percent.
Meanwhile, Telecommunications supplier Spark New Zealand fell 1.2 percent, recording its biggest loss in almost two weeks.
For more individual stocks activity click on STXBZ (Reporting by Hanna Paul in Bengaluru: Additional reporting by Geo Peter Tharappel; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)