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Australian shares pulled down by banks, Fortescue boosts miners

08/29/2021 | 09:43pm EDT

Aug 30 (Reuters) - Australian shares eased on Monday, as losses in heavyweight financials outweighed gains in miners led by Fortescue Metals Group on the back of record annual profit and dividend.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.1% to 7,482.6 by 0106 GMT after closing about 0.4% higher last week.

Financials dropped more than 1%, with all the "Big Four" banks trading in negative territory. Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp , National Australia Bank and Westpac Banking Corp fell between 0.8% and 1.4%.

Miners gained as much as 3.4% and were headed for their best session since May 10. Fortescue jumped 6.2% to a two-week high after the world's fourth-largest ironore miner said its annual underlying net profit more than doubled to $10.35 billion.

Gold stocks rose, benefiting from a jump in bullion prices after U.S Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell stopped short of signalling when the central bank would start withdrawing its economic support.

Newcrest Mining added 1.6%, while Northern Star Resources jumped 4.7%.

Powell's speech at the Jackson Hole Symposium on Friday calmed investor fears over the tapering timetable and pushed major Wall Street indexes to record closing highs.

Crown Resorts Ltd rose 0.6% even after the casino operator reported an annual loss, hurt by lockdown-driven casino closures and regulatory costs, and said it was no longer talking to Oaktree Capital Group over its stake-buy proposal.

Meanwhile, Victoria reported 73 new COVID-19 cases, a day after Premier Dan Andrews said he would extend lockdown measures across the country's second-most populous state.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.8% to 13,160.19. SKY Network Television Ltd jumped 5.4% and topped the benchmark index. (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

© Reuters 2021
Stocks mentioned in the article
ChangeLast1st jan.
AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP LIMITED -0.53% 28.24 End-of-day quote.24.41%
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA -0.08% 104.95 End-of-day quote.27.82%
CROWN RESORTS LIMITED -0.53% 9.47 End-of-day quote.-1.66%
FORTESCUE METALS GROUP LIMITED -0.62% 14.41 End-of-day quote.-38.50%
NATIONAL AUSTRALIA BANK LIMITED 0.24% 28.9 End-of-day quote.27.88%
NEWCREST MINING LIMITED 0.40% 24.92 End-of-day quote.-3.34%
NORTHERN STAR RESOURCES LIMITED -0.11% 9.43 End-of-day quote.-25.69%
S&P 500 0.30% 4549.78 Delayed Quote.20.33%
S&P/ASX 200 0.05% 7419.8 Real-time Quote.12.55%
SKY NETWORK TELEVISION LIMITED -1.55% 1.9 End-of-day quote.18.01%
WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION 0.58% 25.83 End-of-day quote.33.35%
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