MELBOURNE, Australia--A second straight session of broad selling dragged Australian shares to a more than one-week low Monday, marking a cautious start to the new Australian fiscal year.
The S&P/ASX 200 ended a choppy session near its lows, down 37 points, or 0.7%, at 5684.5. The index, despite losing ground over the last quarter, climbed 9.3% over the year through June.
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Despite edging higher in early trading, the major banks built on Friday's sharp declines. Utilities and property trusts also weighed heavily on the market. Only the energy sector eked out a minor gain as crude-oil prices built on recent gains in Asian trade.For the day, 1.85 billion shares were traded with a value of 4.93 billion Australia dollars (US$3.79 billion), Commonwealth Securities said.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia dropped by 0.5%, Westpac Banking shed 0.4% and Australia & New Zealand Banking and National Australia Bank each slipped 0.2%. The regional banks fared better, with Bendigo & Adelaide Bank picking up 0.5% and Bank of Queensland rising 0.8%.
Diversified miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto diverged, with the former losing 0.2% but Rio gaining 0.5%. Gold producer Newcrest Mining fell 0.6% and Oz Minerals declined 1.5%.
Fairfax slumped 11% after it failed to attract takeover bids from two rival private-equity firms that had been circling.
Biotechnology firm CSL, which had rallied strongly in the first half of the year, lost another 2% as it built on Friday's drop. It has now pulled back in five of the last six sessions.
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(END) Dow Jones Newswires
July 03, 2017 03:37 ET (07:37 GMT)