Australia shares slip as gold, metal stocks drag – Kitco NEWS



Sept 24 (Reuters) – Australian shares fell on Friday, dragged by heavyweight gold and metal stocks on weaker bullion and copper prices overnight, while gains in energy stocks and banks limited the losses.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.21% to 7,354.9 points as at 0137 GMT and headed for its third weekly loss.

Gold prices fell about 1% on Thursday, pressured by an uptick in Treasury yields and an appetite for riskier assets, as investors continued to position themselves for a sooner-than-expected interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal Reserve. In Australia, gold stocks fell 2.5% as DGO Gold Ltd lost 5.2% and SSR Mining Inc shed 5%.

Heavyweights Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources declined as much as 2.1% and 3.2%, respectively.

Miners fell 0.8%, with top global miner BHP Group declining 1.4%, as London copper prices softened overnight, pressured by worries of slowing recovery in the United States. In contrast, the energy index rose 2%, led by Woodside Petroleum gaining 2.9% and Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company Ltd adding 1.7?% as oil prices hit two-month highs on supply worries. Technology stocks were up more than half a percent, with Computershare Ltd rising 5%, followed by Afterpay Ltd gaining 1.1%.

All three major U.S. indexes overnight gained more than 1% as investors took relief in the Fed’s stance on tapering stimulus and raising interest rates. Australian banks rose 0.8%, with the “Big Four” banks advancing up to 1%, while QBE Insurance Group added more than 3%.

Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.04% to 13,300.6.

Elsewhere, Japan’s Nikkei was up 1.83% at 30,180.69.

(Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)

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