Australian stocks fall on interest rate concerns from the Fed.  Miners are the most lagging behind

Australian stocks fall on interest rate concerns from the Fed. Miners are the most lagging behind

Australian shares fell for the third consecutive session on Thursday, as better-than-expected US economic data revived concerns that persistent inflation could lead to another rate hike by the Federal Reserve this year.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.6% to 7,207.50 points by 0010 GMT. The main index closed down 0.8% on Wednesday.

Data showed that the US service sector rose unexpectedly in August, which affected risk sentiment in overseas markets.

The gloomy mood in Asia could be exacerbated with the release of trade data from China which is expected to show that imports and exports continued to contract in August, albeit at a slower pace.

Australia’s economy expanded more than expected in the second quarter, led by exports and investment, while household consumption remained subdued as decade-long high interest rates dampened demand.

Mining stocks fell 2.4% and are expected to see their biggest decline in three weeks, driven by lower copper prices.

A Fitch report says the cash flows of global mining giants, including Australian group BHP, will be affected by a new Chilean law requiring copper producers to pay more taxes and royalties to the government.

BHP shares lost 4.5%, making its stock the second biggest loser on the benchmark index.

Banking shares fell 0.4%, while the “Big Four” shares lost between 0.2% and 0.7%.

National Australia Bank shares fell 0.6%. The Australian Financial Review reported on Wednesday that the bank plans to cut 222 jobs in its personal lending, technology, corporate finance and customer coverage divisions.

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Technology stocks lost about 1% after losses on Wall Street overnight.

ASX-listed Block and Xero shares lost 1.5 percent and 0.9 percent, respectively.

Super Retail Group was the biggest laggard on the national stock exchange, dropping more than 7%, its biggest intraday drop in more than 4 months.

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.2% to 11,405.73 points.

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