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Australian shares on Tuesday hit their lowest in over three months, dragged by mining and commodity stocks, as worries about the global economic impact of extended COVID-19 curbs in China and tightening monetary policies spurred a broad-based sell-off.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 2.5% to 6,943.80 by 0033 GMT, after hitting their lowest since Jan. 31 earlier in the session.

The benchmark closed 1.2% lower on Monday. Global financial markets have been spooked by concerns over interest-rate hikes, with stringent COVID-19 lockdowns in China slowing April export growth in the world’s second-largest economy and fuelling recession worries. In Asia, Japan’s Nikkei was down 1.89% and S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.39%.

In the domestic market, miners led the losses with their 5% slide and touched their lowest since December 2021.

Australian shares fall as recession risks dent investor appetite

Sector heavyweights BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue Metals Group were down between 4.2% and 6.1%.

Iron ore futures plunged as much as 7% COVID-19 curbs in China prompted traders to be cautious and fuelled concerns over global demand. Energy stocks slid 4.5% after oil prices sank.

Woodside Petroleum and Santos fell 3.1% and 4.1%, respectively. Gold stocks declined 4.4% in their third session of losses after gold prices extended losses after a surge in the dollar to two-decade highs harmed the appeal of non-yielding bullion.

Technology stocks tracked a sharp overnight fall in the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite index, which closed at its lowest level since November 2020.

The Australian technology sub-index fell as much as 5.2% to hit its lowest in nearly two years with all other sectors also trading in negative.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 1.7% to 11,186.36.

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