* Biotech co Mesoblast top drag on the benchmark
* Energy sub-index hits its lowest since April 22
* Tech index is the sole gainer among indexes, up 2.2%
Oct 2 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Friday, dragged
by losses in energy stocks after an overnight tumble in oil
prices, while a near 45% plunge in biotech firm Mesoblast Ltd
also weighed on the benchmark.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell up to 0.8% to 5,824.1 in
early trade and was on track for a weekly drop of 2.5%. The
benchmark had closed 1% higher on Thursday.
Mesoblast hit its lowest since late-April and was the top
percentage loser on the benchmark after the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration demanded more proof that its flagship drug
Meanwhile, an overnight plunge in oil prices knocked the
energy sub-index down 2.5% to its lowest since April 22.
Shares of Beach Energy and Oil Search were
the top percentage losers, both losing around 2%
Mining stocks dropped as much as 2.2%, hitting their
lowest in nearly three months. Heavyweights BHP Group
and Rio Tinto shed up to 2.9% and 1.7%, respectively.
Financials declined as much as 1.1% to their lowest
in a week.
The tech index, the only sub-index to trade in the
positive territory, advanced 2.2% and hit a one-month high.
Gains in Wisetech Global, up 5.7%, and Afterpay's
3.7% rise boosted the index.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was
down 0.1% at 11,795.99 by 0110 GMT.
The top percentage gainer on the benchmark was Serko Ltd
, up 6.7%, while the top percentage loser was Vista
Group International Ltd, down 3%.
(Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; editing by