* Miners slump to worst session in 2 months
* Altium falls 3.8% as takeover talks with Autodesk cease
* Energy stocks drop as oil prices sink
July 19 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed lower on
Monday, with losses seen across major sub-indexes, as a surge in
Delta variant cases in the country and other Asian nations
raised concerns about economic recovery.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended down 0.8% at 7,286
points, after falling as much as 1.4%.
Australian authorities said Victoria state will extend a
COVID-19 lockdown beyond Tuesday, while other Asian countries
also struggled to curb the virus, denting markets already
worried about global growth and high inflation.
The metals and mining index, down 2.7%, was the
biggest drag on the benchmark index. Weak iron ore prices
weighed on the sector. Heavyweights BHP Group, Rio
Tinto and Fortescue fell between 2.6% and 1.4%
A 2.1% slip on the ASX 200 Energy index also pulled
the markets lower. Oil prices stumbled more than 1% on OPEC+
group of producers agreeing to boost supply.
Oil Search Ltd, down 4.9%, was the biggest loser on
the sub-index, followed by Santos Ltd that fell 2.4%.
The "Big Four" banks shed between 0.5% and 1.2%.
Health stocks, however, closed up 1.6% as a firm
U.S. dollar aided export-reliant stocks. Medical devices maker
PolyNovo added 3.4% and ResMed climbed 2.4%.
Investors' focus is now on the Australian manufacturing
data, which is due on Wednesday.
"Australian PMIs on Wednesday should remain strong, but with
sweeping lockdowns in NSW and Melbourne, any signs of viral
infection will not be kind to the AUD or local equities,"
Jeffrey Halley, senior market analyst at OANDA said in a note.
Amongst individual stocks, software maker Altium
declined 3.8% after U.S. peer Autodesk Inc ended
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index ended
down 0.2% at 12,652.09 points.
($1 = 1.3510 Australian dollars)
(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; editing by