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Australia shares fall to 2-month low on concerns of global economy, oil prices

Australia shares fall to 2-month low on concerns of global economy, oil prices

The Australian share market on Tuesday closed at its lowest level in two months on concerns about oil prices, the credit crunch and the global economy.
On the first day of trading after a three-day long weekend, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 154.6 points, or 2.8 percent, to 5,437.5.
It was the biggest one-day fall in the share market since March 20, when the exchange fell 3.1 percent.
The decline was led by financials after U.S. investment bank Lehman Brothers reported a $US2.8 billion loss and announced it would raise billions of dollars in capital.
Sentiment was also soured by comments from U.S. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, who said upside risks to inflation were forcing the Fed to be more vigilant, suggesting a possible rate rise in the United States.
A sharp drop in Chinese stocks also added to the gloom.
"I think the situation is looking pretty tenuous," Macquarie Private Wealth Associate Director David Halliday told Dow Jones Newswires. "People are starting to question the world growth scenario and that's in an environment where, unquestionably, interest rates are going up globally."
Among financials, Macquarie Group fell 7.5 percent to A$51.80 (US$49) and Babcock & Brown fell 6.6 percent to A$10.42 (US$9.87), while National Australia Bank fell 5.3 percent to A$27.95 (US426.5).
Bellwether resources stocks BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto slipped at the close after heavy late selling from London. Billiton lost 1.68 percent; Rio fell 2.89 percent.
One of the few bright spots was beverage company Foster's, which announced the resignation of its chief executive and possible asset sales. Its shares added six cents to A$5.45 (US$5.16).


Updated : 2021-07-29 14:12 GMT+08:00