* Property stocks among the biggest drags on ASX 200
* Tech stocks limit losses
* NZX50 ends 0.3% higher
June 29 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed marginally
lower on Tuesday, with real estate, miners, and energy stocks
witnessing a slide, as increasing COVID-19 curbs across the
country dented sentiment.
The S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 0.08% at 7,301.2,
recovering from 0.9% drop during the session.
Australia reported on Monday that five of the country's
eight states and territories have been hit by outbreaks of the
Delta variant of COVID-19, with around 80% of the population
under some form of restrictions.
"The market's confidence has been shaken with Perth and
Brisbane joining Sydney and Darwin in a lockdown, and the
earnings downgrade from Kathmandu is a red flag about the
market's conditions if lockdowns persist," said James Tao,
market analyst at CommSec.
"The real estate sector was probably expected to take a hit
as virus curbs increased but dividend calendar has also weighed
on the sector."
Most property stocks fell as they went ex-distribution,
which means that property stocks traded without the rights to
the next distribution or dividend on Tuesday.
Mall operator Vicinity Centres and property firm
Stockland Corp, which traded ex-dividend, were among
the top percentage losers on the sub-index, dropping up to 4.97%
and 3.8%, respectively.
Outdoor retailer Kathmandu Holdings fell 5.4% after
downgrading its full-year earnings, raising an alarm for
retailers by underlining damage to the industry from repeated
Miners closed 0.6% lower, pressured by heavyweights
Rio Tinto Ltd and BHP Group Ltd that fell up
to 1.3% and 1.6%, respectively. Iron ore futures dropped over 3%
on demand concerns from China.
Local tech stocks trimmed losses on the benchmark,
closing 0.7% higher. They took cues from a strong finish on the
tech-heavy Nasdaq on Wall Street. Buy-now-pay-later
darling Afterpay jumped up to 2.4%.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose
0.3% to 12,639.8.
(Reporting by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)