LOS ANGELES – Early gains for Australian stocks faded Monday, as heavily weighted bank shares turned lower, helping to put the S&P/ASX 200 down 0.1% at 5,346.30. Shares of Macquarie Group Ltd. lost 0.2%, while Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Westpac Banking Corp. fell 0.1% apiece after a mixed lead from Wall Street on Friday. Resource stocks took their cues from commodity-price action at the end of last week, with a drop in crude-oil futures pushing Karoon Gas Australia Ltd. down 0.9% and Santos Ltd. lower by 1.2%, while gains for gold lifted Newcrest Mining Ltd. 0.5% higher and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. up 2.3%. Among other blue chips seeing significant moves, Fairfax Media Ltd. rose 1.6%, and Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd. gained 1.3%, while David Jones Ltd. fell 1%, and Whitehaven Coal Ltd. retreated 1.3%.
Copyright © 2014 MarketWatch, Inc.