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Australian shares tracked Wall Street lower on Thursday, as rate-sensitive tech and growth stocks slid on worries about tighter monetary policies by central banks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.49% to 7,453.7 points by 0101 GMT.

The benchmark closed 0.5% lower on Wednesday.

Australia's central bank opened the door to the first interest rate increase in more than a decade on Tuesday, while minutes from the recent Fed meeting also suggested a more aggressive stance on rates. Domestic tech shares dropped as much as 3.2% to hit a more than one-week low, tracking tech-heavy Nasdaq lower.

ASX-listed shares of Block Inc led the sell-off on the sub-index, skidding 4.8% to their worst session in nearly three weeks. Battery materials maker Novonix dropped 5.5%.

Australian shares end lower as global rate hike bets firm

Energy stocks shed 0.9% after a sharp fall in oil futures overnight as large consuming nations said they would release oil from reserves to counter tightening supply. Sector heavyweights Woodside Petroleum and Santos fell 1.7% and 0.9%, respectively.

Theme park operator Ardent Leisure Group jumped 9.7% to eye its best day since Feb. 25 after it sealed the sale of its US entertainment business, Main Event, to Dave & Buster's Entertainment for $835 million. New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.5% to 12,019.4 points.

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