Sept 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Friday,
dragged by heavyweight gold and metal stocks on weaker bullion
and copper prices overnight, while gains in energy stocks and
banks limited the losses.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.21% to
7,354.9 points as at 0137 GMT and headed for its third weekly
Gold prices fell about 1% on Thursday, pressured by an
uptick in Treasury yields and an appetite for riskier assets, as
investors continued to position themselves for a
sooner-than-expected interest rate hike from the U.S. Federal
In Australia, gold stocks fell 2.5% as DGO Gold Ltd
lost 5.2% and SSR Mining Inc shed 5%.
Heavyweights Newcrest Mining and Northern Star
Resources declined as much as 2.1% and 3.2%,
Miners fell 0.8%, with top global miner BHP Group
declining 1.4%, as London copper prices softened
overnight, pressured by worries of slowing recovery in the
In contrast, the energy index rose 2%, led by
Woodside Petroleum gaining 2.9% and Washington H Soul
Pattinson and Company Ltd adding 1.7% as oil prices
hit two-month highs on supply worries.
Technology stocks were up more than half a percent,
with Computershare Ltd rising 5%, followed by Afterpay
Ltd gaining 1.1%.
All three major U.S. indexes overnight gained more than 1%
as investors took relief in the Fed's stance on tapering
stimulus and raising interest rates.
Australian banks rose 0.8%, with the "Big Four"
banks advancing up to 1%, while QBE Insurance Group
added more than 3%.
Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50
index fell 0.04% to 13,300.6.
Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei was up 1.83% at 30,180.69.
(Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Ramakrishnan M.)