Australia and NZ shares slide as US-China trade tension rises

Australian shares fell to one-month lows on Tuesday in response to rising US-China trade tensions

ASX Source: Bloomberg

Investors abandoned equities for safe-haven assets, amid worries of US-China trade war escalation. It comes after China announced tariffs on $60 billion of US goods in retaliation, despite Trump warning China not to retaliate to his tariff hike.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 77.40 points or 1.2%, at time of writing, while the benchmark fell 0.2% on Monday.

Financial stocks plunged as much as 2.4% to a one-month low, while Australia’s fourth largest lender, National Australia Bank slipped as much as 5.3%. NAB shares traded ex-dividend.

Australia’s "Big Four" banks also fell more than 1%, with Commonwealth Bank of Australia shares losing as much as 2%.

IOOF Holdings Ltd and Magellan Financial Group were down as much as 5.1% and 4%, respectively.

Mining sector

Mining behemoth BHP Group fell as much as 2.1% to hit a 3-month low and Rio Tinto shed 1.7%.

Newcrest Mining, Australia's biggest gold producer, rose 3.8%, while Northern Star Resources advanced 6.2%. St Barbara and Saracen Mineral Holdings also surged.

Gold stocks saw their best intraday percentage gain since October. The gold sub-index surged to its biggest intraday percentage gain in over seven months, as investors scurried to the safe haven metal.

New Zealand

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 1% or 104.42 points to 10,025.67.

Infratil Ltd lead the falls, dropping as much as 6.1% after it announced the NZ$3.4 billion ($2.24 billion) acquisition of Vodafone New Zealand.


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