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SYDNEY: Australian shares snapped a three-session winning streak on Monday, dragged by healthcare and commodity stocks, as local investors await US inflation numbers for cues on interest rates.

The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.4% lower at 7,614.9 points. The benchmark fell 0.7% for the previous week.

Globally, market watchers await the January US inflation data due on Tuesday, after the revised consumer price index (CPI) for December indicated easing inflation.

Analysts at ANZ continue to favour November as the starting point of the cycle when the Reserve Bank of Australia may begin cutting interest rates, a move that could be influenced by the inflation print from the US Back In Sydney, healthcare stocks dropped 3.2%, marking their worst day since mid-October, 2023, after bio-tech major CSL announced a setback in a cardiovascular drug trial alongside results.

The priciest stock in the benchmark ended down 4.8%. The energy sub-index closed 1% lower, hitting its lowest level since Jan. 24, amid falling oil prices.

Sector major Woodside fell 2.2%, while Santos ended the day 0.3% higher.

Heayweight miners also fell 0.6%, with mining giants BHP Group and Rio Tinto falling 0.5% and 0.7%, respectively.

Bucking the trend, financial stocks closed 0.1% higher.

ANZ Group gained as much as 1.6%, reaching its highest level since January 2022, after the lender reported its first-quarter group revenue in line with the quarterly average of its first-half fiscal 2023 revenue.

Tech majors Xero and Wisetech Global rose as much as 2% and 1.8%, respectively with the broader tech sub-index ending 1% higher. Shares of JB Hi-Fi climbed as much as 7.5% to their highest level and emerging as the top gainer on the benchmark, after it beat market estimates for interim results.

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