Australian stocks staggered into fresh losses early Wednesday after a selloff in the previous session which some analysts blamed on the central bank failing to flag future easing in its policy statement. The S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.7% about 45 minutes into the trading day, with attention shifting to quarterly economic growth data due out later in the morning. Weakness in the "Big Four" banks, which carry heavy weightings on the ASX, helped to drive the losses, with Australia & New Zealand Banking Group down 0.9%, National Australia Bank Ltd. down 0.8%, Commonwealth Bank of Australia down 1.1% and Westpac Banking Corp. down 1.2%. Investment bank Macquarie Group Ltd. retreated 1.1%. But gains for some of the miners helped limit the losses, with an advance of more than 1% for spot iron-ore prices helping push BHP Billiton Ltd. up 1.6%, Rio Tinto Ltd. up 1.9%, and Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. up 1.7%. More broadly in the mining sector, Sandfire Resources rose 1.9%, Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. added 1.3%, Oz Minerals Ltd. improved by 0.8% and South32 Ltd. gained 0.7%.
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