* Weak oil prices hammer energy index
* Woodside, Santos report lower qtrly revenue
* Financial index posts worst day since Sept. 30
Oct 22 (Reuters) - Australian shares slumped to a near
two-week low on Thursday, weighed by energy and financial
stocks, after an impasse in U.S. stimulus talks tempered market
Broad-based losses pushed the S&P/ASX 200 index down
1.5% or 90.10 points to 6,101.70 by 2348 GMT. The benchmark
gained 0.1% on Wednesday.
The energy index tumbled 2.5% to lead losses, as oil
prices fell 3% overnight after U.S. inventory figures showed
demand for refined products lagged as global coronavirus cases
Sector heavyweights Santos Ltd and Woodside
Petroleum fell about 2% each as the oil and gas
producers reported lower quarterly sales.
Wall Street fell overnight with investors fretting if the
talks between lawmakers would result in a much-needed
coronavirus relief bill as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi expressed
doubts over its passage before the presidential elections.
Heavyweight Australian financial stocks slid 1.6% to
mark its worst day since Sept. 30, pressured by a 5% drop in
wealth manager AMP Ltd and losses in the "Big Four"
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group, National
Australia Bank Commonwealth Bank of Australia
and Westpac Banking Corp - lost between 1.1% to 2%.
AMP said its Australian arm saw net outflows of A$1.95
billion ($1.38 billion) over three months ended Sept. 30 and
flagged further losses of A$450 million in the coming quarter.
The healthcare index fell 0.5%, with industry
behemoth CSL Ltd falling 1.8%.
In a bright spot, medical centre operator Healius Ltd
rose 5.8% to top the ASX200 after giving a positive
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell
0.4% to 12,378.2.
Telecom infrastructure company Chorus Ltd and
Skycity Entertainment Group Ltd fell 2.4% and 2.6%,
respectively, and were among top laggards.
($1 = 1.4081 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy