Sept 22 (Reuters) - Australia shares fell on Wednesday,
weighed down by heavyweight banks and mining stocks as copper
prices dropped, although gains in energy, tech and gold stocks
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.23% to 7,256.8 by 0023
GMT, after ending 0.4% higher in the previous session.
Copper prices extended their decline to a one-month low on
Tuesday on renewed fears that troubles at debt-laden developer
China Evergrande Group could seep into the global
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 declined between 0.1% and 0.6%.
Financial stocks shed nearly 1% to hit a more than
seven-week low, with the "Big Four" banks declining between 0.5%
QBE Insurance Group and NIB Holdings were
the worst performers on the financials sub-index, losing 2.3%
and 2.2%, respectively.
Westpac fell for a fourth straight session, losing
as much as 1.2%, after it scrapped the sale of its Pacific
businesses to Kina Securities, and said it expected to
write back a loss of about A$121 million ($87.52 million) it had
recognised with its first-half results.
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
Tech stocks rose 0.3%, led by Xero Ltd up
1.5%, followed by Megaport Ltd gaining 0.6%.
Wall Street closed near flat overnight ahead of the U.S.
Federal Reserve meeting, where the central bank could set out a
timeline to taper its stimulus.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell
0.1% to 13,163.
Japan's Nikkei was down 0.46%, and S&P 500 E-minis
futures were down 0.35%.
($1 = 1.3826 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)