October 12, 2018 / 2:06 AM / 11 days ago

Australia shares shaky after global sell-off; NZ rises

* Aussie shares steady

* Banks and energy stocks fall the most

* Gains in materials and healthcare cap losses

By Aditya Soni

Oct 12 (Reuters) - The Australian share market was edgy on Friday a day after its worst drubbing in over eight months, with investors remaining cautious following another rough Wall Street session amid lingering anxiety over the Sino-U.S. trade war and rising U.S. interest rates.

The S&P/ASX 200 index ticked down 0.1 percent or 7.40 points to 5,876.40 by 0100 GMT, having tumbled 2.7 percent on Thursday in the wake of a global sell off.

The benchmark is on track for a weekly loss of about 5.1 percent, its biggest in nearly three-years.

Financial stocks fell 1 percent to a near two-year low, dominating the losses on the benchmark.

The fall in banks was exacerbated by concerns over the fallout of a powerful inquiry into wrongdoings in the sector.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group fired about 200 staff for misdeeds, with a handful of those being senior executives, due in part to issues raised at the country’s powerful misconduct inquiry, ANZ Chief Executive Shayne Elliott told a parliamentary committee on Friday.

Shares of ANZ, the country’s third biggest lender, were trading 1.2 percent lower at a more than two-year low.

Other members of the country’s “big four” banks fell between 0.2 percent to 0.9 percent.

The energy sector also added to the bearish sentiment, falling as much as 1.6 percent to its lowest since Sept. 11.

Brent crude futures fell 3.4 percent on Thursday.

Woodside Petroleum Ltd, the country’s largest independent oil and gas producer, lost 1.7 percent, while Santos Ltd dipped 1.6 percent.

However, investors bought into recently sold materials and energy stocks.

Damian Rooney, director of equity sales at Argonaut said that at “end of the day, China will keep making steel and there will be significant demand for iron ore”.

Global miner BHP rose 1.1 percent, while rival Rio Tinto Ltd firmed as much as 1.7 percent.

Gold stocks, seen as safe haven, also traded higher. Resolute Mining Ltd saw its best day since Aug. 27 as it climbed 6.4 percent.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rebounded as it rose 1 percent or 97.34 points to 8,818.54.

The benchmark saw its worst day in ten years on Thursday as it fell 3.6 percent, and was on track to lose 4.3 percent for the week.

Consumer staples led the upward charge on Friday, with dairy firm a2 Milk Company Ltd rising 9.2 percent. (Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)

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