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Australia shares fall over 1% as miners, energy stocks weigh

09/19/2021 | 09:47pm EDT

Sept 20 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell more than 1% on Monday, dragged down by heavyweight mining and energy stocks hurt by weak underlying commodity prices, while tech stocks tracked weakness on the Wall Street.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell as much as 1.4% to its lowest in two months, before trading 1.2% lower at 7,311.8 as at 0137 GMT.

Benchmark iron ore futures slumped on Friday, as Beijing considered including more cities in its environmental controls, which would lead to reduction in steel production to meet China's accelerated de-carbonization efforts.

Heavyweight mining stocks fell 3.4% to their lowest in more than nine and a half months. Mining giant Rio Tinto fell 2.3% to its lowest in 10 months, while BHP Group also dropped 3.6% to its lowest in nearly 10 months.

Energy stocks were down 2.1%, with Santos Ltd losing 2.8%, followed by Viva Energy Group shedding 2.7% as oil prices fell on Friday after energy companies in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico restarted production.

Wall Street on Friday ended sharply lower in a broad sell-off as rising U.S. Treasury yields pressured market-leading growth stocks.

Taking cues from Wall Street, the Australian technology stocks shed 1.8%, led by Iress Ltd, down 3.2% and Xero Ltd falling 3.1%.

In contrast, energy infrastructure firm AusNet Services soared as much as 22.2%, after it received a non-binding bid from an infrastructure affiliate of Canadian investor Brookfield Asset Management, which valued AusNet at A$9.57 billion ($6.95 billion).

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 0.7% to 13,138.74.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.6% at 30500.05. ($1 = 1.3774 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSNET SERVICES LTD 0.81% 2.5 End-of-day quote.42.45%
BHP GROUP 2.80% 38.86 End-of-day quote.-8.41%
BROOKFIELD ASSET MANAGEMENT INC. 1.10% 72.7 Delayed Quote.39.11%
IRESS LIMITED 1.11% 11.8 End-of-day quote.11.22%
SANTOS LIMITED 0.00% 7.34 End-of-day quote.17.07%
VIVA ENERGY GROUP LIMITED 0.43% 2.33 End-of-day quote.21.99%
XERO LIMITED 0.92% 144.35 End-of-day quote.-1.68%
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