Sept 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Wednesday,
dented by heavyweights mining and gold sectors after most
commodity prices took a hit on demand crunch as the greenback
The benchmark ASX 200 index was down 0.4% at 7497.40
points, as of 0034 GMT.
Gold prices were set for their biggest intraday drop in a
month, as a buoyant dollar and higher yields took the shine off
the metal, while concerns about weak demand in the United States
and Asia pressured oil to drop 1.4%.
On the pandemic front, new COVID-19 cases fell for a third
straight day in Sydney, with authorities vaccinating the
country's citizens at a rapid pace.
Miners lost nearly 1% as copper prices hit their
lowest in five months.
Global miners Rio Tinto and BHP Group fell
0.3% and 1%, respectively.
Australian gold stocks shed the most, losing 2.5% to
hit their lowest level since Aug. 27, with Dacian Gold Ltd
down 4.4% to be the top loser in the sub-index.
The energy index followed course, declining 0.9%,
with coal miner Whitehaven Coal Ltd as the worst
Banking stocks were the only sector in positive
territory as they added 0.5% to mark their highest level in
The sub-index was lifted by Macquarie Group Ltd,
which hit a record high despite forecasting "slightly" lower
first-half results, compared with the second half of fiscal
The "Big Four" banks, however, traded in the red.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to
Dairy firm Synlait Milk was top loser on the bourse
after it announced it was discussing a proposal to cut its
headcount by 15% with its staff and union representatives.
In other markets, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.2%, while
the S&P E-mini futures were down 0.02%.
(Reporting by Yamini C S in Bengaluru; Editing by Sherry