SYDNEY/WELLINGTON: Australian shares closed slightly lower on Monday, retreating from a record high scaled in early deals as National Australian Bank and major casino operators slid on concerns over regulatory probes.
The S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2% to 7,281.9, after hitting a record high of 7,309.4 earlier on the back of gains in tech stocks including Altium. New Zealand markets were closed for a holiday.
National Australia Bank (NAB) said it was under investigation for suspected serious and ongoing breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws, sparking concerns about potential fines and higher compliance costs.
The news sent heavyweight financials 1.1% lower, with NAB shares shedding 3.2% in their worst session since Aug. 3. The remaining three banks of the so called “Big Four” fell between 0.6% and 1.3%.
Star fell 2% in its worst session since May 19, while Crown Resorts declined 1.5%. ASX-listed shares of SkyCity gave up 6.5%.