Australian shares soften

Dhaka,  Fri,  22 September 2017
Published : 19 May 2017, 12:46:11

Australian shares soften as financials extend losses

Australian shares soften
Australian shares softened on Friday, as the financial sector sagged on concerns over the effects of a tax on banks and potential slowdown in the housing market.

The S&P/ASX 200 index, which fell for the last two sessions, slipped 0.3 per cent, or 17.012 points, to 5,721.3 by 0250 GMT. The benchmark dropped 0.8 per cent on Thursday.

The financial sector accounted for more than half of the indexe's losses, with the "Big Four" slipping 0.7-2.0 per cent.

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group dropped 2.2 per cent at one point to its lowest in five months.

The benchmark index of financial stocks, which fell for the past three days, dipped 1.2 per cent to its lowest in three months.

Newcrest Mining fell more than three per cent, snapping two sessions of gains.

The materials sector was the only sector in positive territory with diversified miner BHP Billiton leading, on the backdrop of upbeat Shanghai steel and oil prices.

BHP aims to start potash production at Jansen, Saskatchewan in 2023 and plans to produce 4 million tonnes annually.

The miner, under pressure from activist investor Elliott Management to review its assets, said its open to taking on a partner in Jansen, but added that there are no ongoing talks, according to Reuters.
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