November 5, 2018 / 1:46 AM / in 8 months

Australia shares change a little as Sino-U.S. trade talk enthusiasm wanes; NZ lower

* Financial, energy stocks extend loses for a 3rd-straight session

* Rio Tinto’s Australia shares rises up to more than 1-month high

* Z Energy hits 3-1/2-year low

By Aman Swami

Nov 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares were little changed on Monday after the White House damped down optimism over Sino-U.S. trade talks, weakening investor sentiment, with financials and energy stocks leading the declines.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was flat at 5,848.700 by 0130 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.14 percent on Friday.

The day’s declines followed a subdued end on Wall Street on Friday when enthusiasm over trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies waned on remarks from White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on CNBC.

Markets had finished higher last week on hopes that the world’s two biggest economies were mending their shaky trade relations. President Donald Trump is set to meet Chinese President Xi Jinping this month.

“U.S. volatility has scared people again, reminded investors here that there are still a number of concerns and certainly no certainty that trade situation will be rectified,” said Damian Rooney, director of equity sales at Argonaut.

On Monday, Aussie financial shares were 0.2 percent lower with sector heavyweight Commonwealth Bank extending loses to a third straight session, falling 1.4 percent.

Australia’s No. 2 lender Westpac Banking Corp’s shares edging down 0.3 percent also weighed on the sector, after it reported flat cash earnings growth, missing expectations.

“Westpac’s comments were slightly cautious, but they did say that the risk on the Australian housing market was low, which was a good thing,” said Rooney.

Commonwealth Bank reports first quarter fiscal 2019 results on Wednesday.

Energy stocks led the losses, coming under pressure after oil prices fell about 1 percent last week and remained subdued on Monday as the start to U.S. sanctions against Iran’s fuel exports was softened by waivers that will allow some countries to still import Iranian crude temporarily.

Energy index heavyweight Woodside Petroleum Ltd fell nearly 2 percent extending loses to a third straight session.

Minor advances in metals and mining shares, however, helped cap some losses on the benchmark. Global miner Rio Tinto’s Australia shares rose to a more than one-month high, gaining as much as 2.2 percent.

But New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.34 percent, ending six straight sessions of gains.

Z Energy Ltd plunged 5.1 percent to its lowest in nearly 3 1/2 years after the fuel supplier cut its fiscal 2019 dividend guidance.

Shares in medical devices maker Fisher & Paykel Healthcare fell 2.7 percent. (Reporting by Aman Swami in Bengaluru, editing by Eric Meijer)

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