Australia Stocks Fall After Tumbling Oil And Ore Prices

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Australian stocks followed their U.S. peers into solid losses Tuesday as tumbling prices for oil and other key commodities pushed the resource shares into deep losses. The S&P/ASX 200 was down 1.2% at 5,385.70, easily wiping out the previous day's 0.3% advance. A 5% dive for Nymex crude and an almost 6% sell-down for Brent translated into a sharp retreat for the energy names: Oil Search Ltd. fell 6.1%, Santos Ltd. lost 6.3%, Woodside Petroleum Ltd. gave up 4.6%, and WorleyParsons Ltd. traded 5.2% lower. It was a similar story for iron ore, as weaker prices for the mineral kicked Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. lower by 4.8%, Arrium Ltd. down 5.7%, and Atlas Iron Ltd. and BC Iron Ltd. down 5.8% each. BHP Billiton Ltd. -- which also has major exposure to both iron ore and oil, fell 4.3%, while rival Rio Tinto Ltd. dropped 2.3%. Shares of rare-earths extractor Lynas Corp. plunged 7.4% as China ended export quotas for its own rare earths. Outside the mining and energy sectors, meanwhile, Macquarie Group Ltd. fell 1.1% after Wall Street's overnight losses, while Suncorp Group Ltd. lost 1.2%, Leighton Holdings Ltd. gave up 2.6%, and BlueScope Steel Ltd. moved 2.8% lower.

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