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SYDNEY/WELLINGTON: Australian shares closed at their lowest level in two weeks on Thursday, after a rise in locally acquired Covid-19 cases in the country’s most populous state, New South Wales, spurred fears of an extended lockdown.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.65% to 7,265.6 points, closing at its lowest level in more than two weeks, with only gold miners making significant gains.

The heavyweight financial index was the top percentage loser on the bourse, with Australia’s biggest lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia sinking up to 1.3%.

Westpac, National Australia Bank as well as Australia and New Zealand Banking Group fell less than 1%.

Energy stocks closed 0.4% lower, as heavyweights, Santos and Origin Energy and Woodside Petroleum fell about 1% each.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index rose 0.2% to 12683.6.

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