Australia shares fall as energy, miners drag; NZ steadies
* Energy stocks dip as oil prices slide
* Santos, WorleyParsons, Wesfarmers trade ex-div
* Blackmores drop after CEO steps down
* Trump cautions on trade deal
By Shreya Mariam Job
Feb 26 (Reuters) - Australian shares dropped on Tuesday with
mining and energy stocks leading losses as falling prices and
investor caution over details of a China-U.S. trade deal weighed
on the index.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 1 percent, or 63.4 to
6,122.9, by 0128 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.3 percent on Monday.
Oil futures tumbled more than 3 percent on Monday in their
largest daily percentage drop this year after U.S. President
Donald Trump called on OPEC to ease its efforts to boost crude
prices, which he said were "getting too high."
"Trump setting the price by suggesting that OPEC should
relax and effectively taking their foot off the oil agreements
is weighing on the index," said Damian Rooney, director of
equity sales at Argonaut.
Santos Ltd and WorleyParsons Ltd dropped
2.6 percent and 3 percent, respectively, with both stocks
Meanwhile, bucking broader losses in the energy sector was
Caltex Australia, which jumped more than 5 percent
after reporting a higher than forecast full-year underlying net
profit and announcing a share buyback.
Mining stocks fell 1.3 percent, following gaining on
the back of Trump said on Sunday that he would delay a tariff
hike on $200 billion of Chinese imports planned for March 1
after "productive" trade talks.
The delay in a tariff hike was the clearest signs yet that
both sides were making progress in the talks, but Trump on
Monday also sounded a note of caution, saying a deal "could
happen fairly soon, or it might not happen at all."
Global miner BHP Group Ltd and rival Rio Tinto Ltd
shed 1.5 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively. Iron
ore prices also retreated on Monday despite positive overall
The biggest percentage loser was Alumina Ltd, which
fell as much as 8.8 percent, as the stock trades ex-dividend.
Elsewhere, vitamin manufacturer Blackmores said its
chief executive Richard Henfrey will step down but did not give
a reason for the resignation. Shares fell 4.3 percent on the
Conglomerate Wesfarmers Ltd, an index heavyweight,
dropped 6.6 percent after trading ex-dividend.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was
marginally higher on Tuesday, adding 8.93 points to 9,353.85.
New Zealand listed shares of Australia and New Zealand
Banking Group Ltd and Goodman Property Trust
rose 0.6 percent and 0.3 percent, respectively.
A 1.2 percent rise in Auckland International Airport
helped offset a near 5 percent drop in Tourism Holdings
Ltd after it posted lower half-year net profit.
(Reporting by Shreya Mariam Job in Bengaluru
Editing by Jacqueline Wong)
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