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Business News/ Markets / Stock Markets/  Banks push Australia shares down; James Hardie dips to 5-month low
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Banks push Australia shares down; James Hardie dips to 5-month low

AUSTRALIA-STOCKS/ MIDDAY:Banks push Australia shares down; James Hardie dips to 5-month low

Banks push Australia shares down; James Hardie dips to 5-month lowPremium
Banks push Australia shares down; James Hardie dips to 5-month low

May 21 - Australian shares declined on Tuesday, as losses in financial stocks countered gains in miners and tech stocks, while James Hardie Industries plunged to its lowest level in five months.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.1% to 7,857 points by 0047 GMT. The benchmark had risen 0.6% on Monday.

Shares of James Hardie Industries were set to emerge as the top losers on the benchmark after the world's biggest fiber cement maker lowered earnings forecast for the fiscal year 2025, citing constrained housing demand in the North American market.

The Reserve Bank of Australia is due to release the minutes of its May meeting later in the day, which will offer investors further clues on the central bank's stance on future monetary policy decisions.

A signal of a softening labour market last week came as a sign of relief after RBA warned about inflation risks while keeping interest rates at a 12-year high of 4.35% earlier in the month.

Rate-sensitive financial stocks declined 0.1% with three of the "Big Four" banks trading in the red.

Healthcare stocks fell 0.3%, on track for a third consecutive session of losses. On the other hand, biopharmaceutical giant CSL rose 0.2%.

Bucking the trend, miners added 0.1% as iron ore futures climbed to multi-month highs.

BHP Group added 0.4% while Rio Tinto and Fortescue lost 0.8% and 0.6%, respectively.

Tracking oversees peers, tech stocks advanced 1.1% with ASX-listed shares of Xero and WiseTech Global rising 0.8% and 1.4%, respectively.

Energy stocks gained 0.1% and gold stocks added 0.2% as bullion prices touched record highs on a mix of Chinese stimulus measures and U.S. rate cut expectations.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.4% or 42.66 points to 11,698.05.

This article was generated from an automated news agency feed without modifications to text.

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Published: 21 May 2024, 06:45 AM IST
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