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Australian shares closed at an 11-month low on Wednesday as the domestic central bank’s hawkish comments and a stronger-than-expected U.S. job openings data fueled rate hike worries.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.8% to 6943.4. The benchmark had slipped 1.3% on Tuesday.

On Tuesday, data showed U.S. job openings unexpectedly increased in August, sparking a sell-off in Wall Street on concerns that a still-tight labour market could compel the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates next month.

“The ASX was primarily impacted by Wall Street’s movement overnight as the surging U.S. bond yields had sent the Australian government bond yields soaring too, which caused the risk-off movements across the APAC region,” Tina Teng, analyst at CMC Markets, said.

Australian shares hit over six-month low on rate hike fears

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) held interest rates steady on Tuesday, but warned that further tightening might be needed to bring inflation to heel in a reasonable timeframe.

Global markets declined on Wednesday, crushed by a fresh surge in U.S. Treasury yields.

The decline in the ASX is a small one compared with the drop on the Dow Jones Industrial Average, Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking, said.

In Sydney, financials dropped the most, falling 1.5%, with the “big four” banks falling between 1.5% and 1.9%.

Energy stocks lost 1.1% with sector behemoths Woodside Energy and Santos falling 0.9% and 1.1%, respectively.

Mining and tech stocks fell 0.2% and 0.5% while gold stocks climbed 0.8%.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.01% to end at 11235.72.

The country’s central bank held rates steady on Wednesday as policymakers were more confident that past hikes were working to bring down inflation as desired.

Interest rates will need to remain at a restrictive level for the foreseeable future to ensure retail inflation returns to its 1% to 3% target range, it added.

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