* Aussie mining sub-index falls in tandem with benchmark
* Lower oil prices weigh on sentiment
* GrainCorp gains on spin-off announcement
By Aby Jose Koilparambil
April 4 (Reuters) - An extended rally in Australian shares ran out of steam on Thursday, as investors took some money off the table with all the recent outperformers turning tail in the process.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.7 percent to 6,240.30 by 0026 GMT, having gained 0.41 percent in the previous day.
With the red-hot iron ore prices pushing the mining behemoths higher, the benchmark scored its best uninterrupted run of gains since October 2017, when it advanced for eight trading days in a row.
All the major sector-based indexes were trading in the red with declining issues outnumbering advancing ones by a 5-to-2 ratio.
“It does seems to be a bit of profit-taking on the basis that this a knee-jerk reaction out of the gates in trade today. We need to watch the market through for the rest of the day to see how it stabilises,” said Kyle Rodda, market analyst at IG markets.
Rodda said the encouraging retail sales figures and surge in metal prices underpinned a healthy near-term outlook, adding that he expected the market to resume its uptick soon.
The metals and mining sub-index, which has gained in the past seven sessions in tandem with the benchmark, shed up to 0.8 percent in morning trade.
Index heavyweights BHP Group and Rio Tinto shed 1.3 percent and 0.8 percent respectively, while Fortescue Metals Group, a firm which has largely benefited from recent global iron ore supply concerns, declined 1.7 percent.
Financials, the largest sector in the benchmark, declined with all the major lenders except the largest one - Commonwealth Bank of Australia - slipping between 0.2 percent to 0.4 percent.
Also weighing on sentiment were lower oil prices after U.S. government data showed a surprise build in crude inventories.
Energy stocks felt the heat, with the sub-index dropping 1.5 percent. Oil and gas firm Beach Energy Ltd fell about 3 percent, while oilfield services firm WorleyParsons and gas producer Santos Ltd shed about 2 percent each.
Bucking the trend, Australia’s biggest listed bulk grain handler GrainCorp Ltd rose to a one-month high after it said it planned to spin off its malting business.
Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.3 percent or 29.70 points to 9,909.56.
Energy firms Contact Energy Ltd and Genesis Energy Ltd were among the top percentage losers, down more than 1.5 percent each. (Reporting by Aby Jose Koilparambil in Bengaluru Editing by Shri Navaratnam)