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Australian shares fell on Wednesday, weighed down by heavyweight banking and mining stocks, a day after the central bank stood pat on its interest rates for a second straight month, citing that past hikes were working to cool demand.

The S&P/ASX 200 index retreated 0.7% points to 7,401.2 by 0041 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.5% higher on Tuesday.

The Reserve Bank of Australia held interest rates at 4.1% for a second straight month on Tuesday, but retained a warning that some more tightening might be needed to curb inflation.

A private sector survey on Tuesday showed that factory activity in China, which is Australia’s top trade partner, swung to contraction in July, with supply, demand and export orders all deteriorating.

The data raises challenges for policymakers seeking to revive momentum in China’s post-COVID recovery amid high youth unemployment, mounting local debt pressure and weak demand.

Back in Sydney, interest rate-sensitive financial stocks retreated nearly 1% with each of the “Big Four” banks falling around 1.0%.

Heavyweight mining stocks fell 0.7% with sector-majors BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue slipping between 0.5% and 1%.

Shares of Fortescue tracked iron ore prices lower and dropped 1%.

Earlier in the day, the miner had appointed Deborah Caudle as the CFO of Fortescue Energy.

Among individual stocks, Pilbara Minerals said the company and Calix Ltd received board approvals for the final investment decision on construction at their flagship Pilgangoora lithium project in Western Australia.

Shares fell 0.4%. Gold stocks slumped nearly 1% as the bullion lost shine.

Shares of Northern Star Resources and Newcrest Mining fell 1.2% and 0.2%, respectively.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was largely flat at 11,977.42 points.

The country’s jobless rate rose slightly in the second quarter from the previous quarter.

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