The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 0.7% to 6,968.1
Australian stocks fell a percent on Wednesday, extending losses into a second consecutive session, as travel stocks fell after a new COVID-19 case in New Zealand sparked worries of a pause in the trans-Tasman quarantine-free travel.
The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 0.7% to 6,968.1 by 0030 GMT. It dropped as much as 1% to mark its worst intraday drop in nearly five weeks.
A new case of the novel coronavirus detected at Auckland airport comes just a day after the country opened a travel bubble with Australia.
That pulled down ASX-listed travel stocks, with Qantas Airways dropping 2.8% and Sydney Airport Holdings losing 1.3%. Flight Centre Travel and Helloworld Travel lost nearly 2% and 1.5%, respectively.
In Australia, the top percentage gainers on the benchmark were Corporate Travel Management, up 4.52%, followed by IDP Education, adding 2.92%, and Hub24, rising 2.58%.
Heavyweight miners declined 1.5%. Lithium miners Galaxy Resources and Orocobre were the biggest losers on the index, shedding nearly 6% each.
Iron ore giant BHP Group declined more than 2% after it reported a slight drop in its third-quarter output. However, it expects iron ore production at the upper end of its forecast range for full-year.
Energy index dropped 2.1%, led by Beach Energy, down 2.8% and Ampol, shedding 1.3%. Oil prices fell from their one-month highs on fears that world’s third-biggest oil importer India may impose new restrictions.
In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index dropped 0.4% to 12,628.8.
In other markets, Japan’s Nikkei shed 1.56% to 28,631.87. The S&P 500 E-minis futures fell 0.13%, while all three major U.S. indexes finished lower overnight.
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