November 15, 2018 / 1:52 AM / a month ago

Aussie shares weaker as financial firms track Wall St losses; NZ falls

* Energy shares gain after oil rebounds

* Financial stocks fall in line with U.S. peers

By Niyati Shetty

Nov 15 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged lower on Thursday as financial stocks tracked their Wall Street counterparts, although stronger oil stocks provided some support for the broader market as crude prices recovered.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.5 percent or 30.5 points to 5,702.3 by 0146 GMT. The benchmark declined 1.7 percent on Wednesday.

Financial shares fell in line with their U.S. peers, which declined on fears of stricter regulation after the Democratic Party takes control of the U.S. House of Representatives.

However, energy stocks gained as much as 1.1 percent after oil prices bounced back from their steepest one-day loss in more than three years on Wednesday.

“It does appear that the rallies that we saw across the commodities complex over the night in base metals, precious metals and oil has buoyed the Australian market trading today,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

Crude prices reversed course on the possibility of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its partners cutting output at a meeting next month, resolving some concerns of oversupply amid weakening global demand.

The metals and mining index was flat on Wednesday after it lost 2.4 percent in the previous session. Mining giant Rio Tinto Ltd lost 1.3 percent, while gold miner Newcrest Mining Ltd was 1.8 percent up.

Healthcare stocks fell after gaining as much as 1.4 percent in early trade. Index heavyweight CSL Ltd lost 0.3 percent while hearing devices maker Cochlear Ltd was up 0.6 percent.

Australia’s biggest listed bulk grain handler Graincorp Ltd fell as much as 3.3 percent as its annual underlying net profit fell 50 percent due to drought in the eastern parts of the country.

New Zealand stocks were down, with the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index falling 0.26 percent or 22.66 points to 8,805.08.

Auckland International Airport Ltd fell 1.3 percent, while Meridian Energy Ltd lost 1.7 percent. ($1 = 1.3736 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Niyati Shetty in Bengaluru; Editing by Sam Holmes)

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