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MarketScreener Homepage  >  Indexes  >  Australian Stock Exchange  >  S&P/ASX 200    XJO   XC0006013624

S&P/ASX 200

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Australia shares close lower as U.S. stimulus appears elusive

10/22/2020 | 02:02am EST

* Energy stocks slip as oil prices fall further

* Gold stocks decline as bullion prices retreat

* Miners, healthcare stocks buck downtrend

Oct 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Thursday, weighed down by energy and financials stocks, as talks on a new U.S. fiscal coronavirus aid package dragged on, raising fears of a delayed deal.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1.5% in intraday trade before miners helped it recoup some of the losses to settle 0.3% lower at 6,173.80, its lowest close since Oct. 12.

Overnight, Wall Street's three major averages closed lower, after U.S. President Donald Trump accused Democrats of being unwilling to craft an acceptable compromise on stimulus.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi also expressed doubts over the passage of a deal before the presidential election.

"I'm very doubtful that we will get any stimulus agreement being this so close to the election... It has the potential to put either party at a disadvantage if they were to agree with something now," said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking.

Australian energy stocks closed 1.9% lower as oil prices extended losses after a build in U.S. inventories pointed to a deteriorating outlook for fuel demand.

Oil Search closed 3.7% lower after hitting a two-week low earlier in the day, while Santos slipped 1.9%.

Financials fell 0.5% after earlier touching their lowest level in more than a week. The "Big Four" banks - Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, National Australia Bank Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp - slipped between 0.5% and 0.8%.

Gold stocks declined 0.7% as bullion prices retreated. Resolute Mining fell 6.4% and Chalice Gold Mines lost 6.7%.

Miners finished 0.2% higher, with both BHP Group and Rio Tinto adding about 1%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.2% to 12,407.3. Top losers were Chorus Ltd, down 2.1%, and Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp, losing 1.7%. (Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

© Reuters 2020
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP 3.03% 39.46 End-of-day quote.1.39%
CHALICE GOLD MINES LIMITED 1.61% 3.78 End-of-day quote.1,580.00%
CHORUS LIMITED -0.36% 8.32 End-of-day quote.34.63%
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA 1.49% 82.37 End-of-day quote.3.09%
FISHER & PAYKEL HEALTHCARE CORPORATION LIMITED -1.47% 33.55 End-of-day quote.51.13%
LONDON BRENT OIL 1.92% 48.84 Delayed Quote.-30.61%
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED 3.09% 24.05 End-of-day quote.-2.35%
OIL SEARCH LIMITED 0.53% 3.82 End-of-day quote.-47.31%
RESOLUTE MINING LIMITED 2.70% 0.76 End-of-day quote.-39.68%
RIO TINTO GROUP 1.12% 104.28 End-of-day quote.3.86%
RIO TINTO PLC -2.66% 4918.5 Delayed Quote.12.21%
S&P/ASX 200 -0.13% 6672.7 Real-time Quote.-0.60%
SANTOS LIMITED 2.67% 6.53 End-of-day quote.-20.17%
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION 2.15% 20.89 End-of-day quote.-13.78%
WTI 2.37% 45.845 Delayed Quote.-29.68%
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