Aussie shares end lower on banks and miners; NZ down
* Aussie shares fall for ninth session out of ten
* Banks hit by latest findings of Royal Commission and
* Energy stocks rise on higher oil prices
* Spark New Zealand drags NZ shares
(Updates to close)
By Aditya Soni
Sept 12 (Reuters) - Australian shares eased marginally on
Wednesday, unable to followthrough on the previous day's
recovery as financials took another hit and mining stocks
slumped on the back of falling commodities prices.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.1 percent or 3.80
points to 6,175.90 at the close of trade, having risen 0.6
percent in the previous session. The index has now fallen for
nine of the last 10 sessions.
Banks and insurers were battered by the latest revelations
from a high profile months-long inquiry of widespread misconduct
in the industry. The inquiry heard on Wednesday that insurers
use high-pressure tactics to prevent customers from cancelling
their policies and even hang up on them when they try to do so.
A weaker Australian dollar added to their woes, said Mathan
Somasundaram, Market Portfolio Strategist with Blue Ocean
Index heavyweight Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
Ltd slipped 0.7 percent, while Westpac Banking Corp
fell 0.6 percent.
Insurance majors Suncorp Group Ltd and QBE
Insurance Group Ltd were trading 1.7 percent and 0.4
percent lower, respectively.
A sell-off in Chinese iron ore futures led to a weakness in
BHP, the world's biggest miner, was eased 0.3
percent, while Fortescue Metals Group Ltd fell 3
percent to a more than two-year low.
However, higher oil prices boosted demand for local energy
stocks, braking the benchmark's slide.
Woodside Petroleum Ltd firmed 1.6 percent, while
Santos Ltd rose 2.7 percent to its highest since August
Meanwhile, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index
dipped 0.3 percent or 30 points to finish the session at
Teleco Spark New Zealand Ltd fell 1.1 percent and
was the biggest drag on the main index, while casino operator
Skycity Entertainment Group Ltd dipped 2.4 percent.
(Reporting by Aditya Soni in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon
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