Nov 16 (Reuters) - Australian shares dropped on Tuesday,
pulled down by mining and banking sectors, as investors
maintained a cautious stance ahead of the U.S. retail sales data
that is expected to reveal signs of any impact inflation has had
on consumer spending.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.4% at 7440.00
points, as of 1143 GMT, with every sector trading in the red.
Investors were on the sidelines ahead of key U.S. retail
sales data due later in the day, after a report last week showed
consumer sentiment in the world's largest economy hitting its
lowest point in a decade, due in part to inflation.
Among individual sectors back home, weak iron ore futures
caused the heavyweight constituent miners to drop as
much as 1.4%, with BHP Group among the top 10 biggest
losers, declining 2.2%.
Australian banking stocks took a 0.6% fall, with the
"Big Four" lenders shedding between 0.2% and 0.6%.
Technology stocks followed course by slipping 0.6%,
with software firm Altium Ltd falling 2.8% to be the
Gold stocks also dropped 0.6% to their biggest
one-day percentage fall in a week despite strong bullion prices
as investors flocked to the safe-haven metal on inflation
Following the trend, the energy sub-index posted
losses of about 0.4%, with oil prices slightly weaker on
Whitehaven Coal Ltd lost up to 1.6% amid a global
fall in coal stocks after an international agreement to reduce
coal use at the Glasgow climate meet.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was down
0.3% at 12,920.460 points.
Village operator Summerset Group Holdings Ltd, down
1.8%, hit its lowest level in more than two months and led
losses in the NZX 50 index.
In other markets, the S&P 500 E-minis futures were
(Reporting by Yamini C S; Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips)