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Australia shares post third weekly loss as Evergrande debt crisis weighs

09/24/2021 | 03:52am EDT

* Gold stocks led losses on ASX 200

* Energy stocks, banks capped some losses

* NZX 50 fell 0.35%

Sept 24 (Reuters) - Australia shares ended lower on Friday to mark a third weekly decline as property developer Evergrande's debt crisis continued to capture attention worldwide and spark concerns of a fallout in China's financial system and other markets.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.37% to close trade at 7,342.6 points. In the previous session, the benchmark closed 1% higher at a seven-week peak.

"With China Evergrande's bond interest payment deadline inching closer, markets have been evaluating what would happen if the property developer fails to settle the interest within a month of the slated payment dates," Kunal Sawhney, chief executive officer of Kalkine Group said.

Investors are concerned a slowdown in China may have an impact on commodities. Australian miners, who are dependent on Chinese demand for raw materials, fell 1.36%, with the country's big mining triumvirate - BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals skidding between 0.3% and 2.6%.

Gold miners led the losses on the main bourse after dropping 3.35%, tracking lower bullion prices overnight amid an uptick in Treasury yields.

Gold miner Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd fell 7.2% while Ramelius Resources Ltd lost 6.1%.

In contrast, energy stocks rose 1.41% tracking an uptick in oil prices as investors focused on tighter supplies amid strong appetite for riskier assets such as crude.

Heavyweight Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company was the top gainer in the sub-index, advancing 3.8%, followed by natural gas major Santos Ltd, gaining up to 4.9%.

Major banks advanced 0.66% with a rise in Australian bond yields as higher rates lead to better margins. Among the 'Big Four' banks, the country's biggest lender Commonwealth Bank climbed 0.9%.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.35% to finish the session at 13,259.6 points.

($1 = 1.3729 Australian dollars) (Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)

ę Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
BHP GROUP 2.80% 38.86 End-of-day quote.-8.41%
CHINA EVERGRANDE GROUP -3.91% 2.95 End-of-day quote.-80.20%
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA 0.36% 102.28 End-of-day quote.24.56%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED 1.96% 14.6 End-of-day quote.-37.69%
KINGSGATE CONSOLIDATED LIMITED 1.82% 1.68 End-of-day quote.83.61%
PERSEUS MINING LIMITED 0.88% 1.71 End-of-day quote.31.54%
RAMELIUS RESOURCES LIMITED 0.00% 1.625 End-of-day quote.-3.56%
RIO TINTO PLC -1.43% 5038 Delayed Quote.-7.90%
SANTOS LIMITED 0.00% 7.34 End-of-day quote.17.07%
WASHINGTON H. SOUL PATTINSON AND COMPANY LIMITED 1.54% 34.84 End-of-day quote.15.79%
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