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Markets

Australia shares fall from 11-month high as big miners, energy stocks weigh

  • Oil Search lost more than 2% after it forecast lower output in 2021 and reported a 42% plunge in December quarter revenue.
Published January 27, 2021
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Australian shares slipped on Wednesday from an 11-month peak scaled in the previous trading session, dragged down by big miners and energy stocks, while investors awaited inflation data and outcome of the US Federal Reserve meeting.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.3% at 6,801.60 by 2350 GMT, slipping from its 11-month high of 6,824.70 scaled on Monday. Markets were closed on Tuesday for a public holiday.

Australia's fourth-quarter headline inflation, slated to be released later in the day, is seen remaining unchanged from the third quarter by a Reuters poll, while ANZ Research expects it to edge higher to 0.8% year-on-year from 0.7% in the previous quarter.

Also on investors radar will be the outcome of US Federal Reserve meeting on Thursday, from which few, if any, changes are expected to the policy statement and no new economic forecasts are scheduled to be released.

"Given the current loss of momentum in jobs growth and consumption, it is very difficult to see anything other than a dovish statement and press conference," ANZ Research said in a note.

Aussie miners were the top losers, dropping as much as 3.3% on declining iron ore prices.

The sub-index marked its worst intraday drop since Sept. 4.

Mining giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto were down as much as 3% and 3.7%, respectively, while Fortescue Metals Group lost 6.7%, a day before its quarterly production results.

Energy stocks were down nearly 3%, as heavyweights Woodside Petroleum and Santos eased.

Oil Search lost more than 2% after it forecast lower output in 2021 and reported a 42% plunge in December quarter revenue.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index gained as much as 0.4% to 13,376.41, its highest since Jan. 11.

Financials and healthcare firms were the top boosts, while losses in utilities capped the gains.

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