Australian stocks fall as subdued copper prices weigh on metals stocks
September 22 (Reuters) – Australian stocks fell on Wednesday, weighed down by heavyweight banks and mining stocks as copper prices fell, although gains in energy, tech and mining stocks ‘gold have limited losses.
The S & P / ASX 200 index fell 0.23% to 7,256.8 at 12:23 GMT, after finishing up 0.4% in the previous session.
Copper prices extended their decline to a one-month low on Tuesday amid renewed fears that the problems of debt-laden developer China Evergrande Group could seep into the global economy.
Australian mining stocks fell 0.4%, led by a 2.3% drop in Liontown Resources Ltd, followed by Coronado Global Resources Inc, losing 2.01%.
Global miners BHP, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metlas fell between 0.1% and 0.6%.
Financials fell nearly 1% to a more than seven-week low, with the “big four” banks falling between 0.5% and 1.1%.
QBE Insurance Group and NIB Holdings were the worst performers on the financial sub-index, losing 2.3% and 2.2% respectively.
Westpac fell for a fourth consecutive session, losing as much as 1.2%, after canceling the sale of its Pacific business to Kina Securities, and said it expected to resume a loss of around $ 121 million of Australian dollars ($ 87.52 million) which it had recorded with its results for the first half of the year.
In contrast, energy stocks rose 1%, led by Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company adding 2.9%, followed by Worley gaining 2.7% on a modest rise in oil prices overnight.
Tech stocks rose 0.3%, led by Xero Ltd up 1.5%, followed by Megaport Ltd up 0.6%.
Wall Street closed almost flat the night before the US Federal Reserve meeting, where the central bank could set a timetable to reduce its stimulus.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S & P / NZX 50 lost 0.1% to 13,163.
Japan’s Nikkei was down 0.46% and S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.35%. ($ 1 = AU $ 1.3826) (Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru, editing by Rashmi Aich)