Australia shares close lower for third session as miners, tech stocks dive


* Miners slump nearly 2% as iron ore prices dive

* Crypto stocks track bitcoin dip after Tesla halts its use

* NZ50 ends in red for seventh straight session (Updates to close)

May 13 (Reuters) – Australian shares fell for a third session on Thursday, with miners and tech stocks leading losses, as accelerating inflation in the United States stoked concerns over sooner-than-expected rate hikes.

Tracking Wall Street’s slump overnight, the S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.9% lower at 6,982.7.

Global markets were battered alike after U.S. consumer prices for April jumped the most in nearly 12 years. The report was closely watched by market participants to gauge the Federal Reserve’s policy direction even as it held on to a dovish tone.

Sentiment was further soured after China missed forecasts for quarterly gross domestic product (GDP) and March industrial output, worrying investors in Australia about its top trade partner’s economic recovery.

Tech stocks were the biggest percentage losers on the benchmark, ending 4.7% lower, tracking a tech sell-off in U.S. peers.

Xero Ltd was the biggest loser on the sub-index, falling nearly 14.6% to A$115.25 as its revenue for the year missed estimates.

Local miners also dragged the index, ending nearly 1.9% lower as iron ore prices fell more than 7% after a five-session rally.

The country’s mining triumvirate BHP Group, Rio Tinto and Fortescue slid between 1.7% and 4.4%.

A bright spot on the index were healthcare stocks, finishing 1% higher as the U.S.-exposed stocks benefited from a firm dollar.

Mining services provider Perenti Global led losses on the benchmark, hitting its lowest in a year on warning that second half earnings would be “softer” than the first half.

Meanwhile, Aussie crypto stocks, although not part of the benchmark, tracked a bitcoin slump overnight after Tesla chief Elon Musk halted use of the digital currency for car purchases.

Cryptocurrency investment firm Fatfish Group fell over 10%, Raiz invest dropped as much as 7.4% and DigitalX fell to a month’s low.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 1.1% to finish the session at 12,428.12, extending losses into the seventh session. (Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Vinay Dwivedi)


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