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Australia shares sink on tech sell-off after U.S. inflation data; miners shine

Australian shares lost ground on Friday as technology stocks were sold off after a hot U.S. inflation reading furthered the cause for a more aggressive approach to raising interest rates, while heavyweight miners limited losses.

Published: February 11, 20228:06 AM GMT+8
Author: Harshita Swaminathan; Editing by Richard Chang
Original Source: www.reuters.com

The S&P/ASX 200 index (.AXJO) fell 0.5% to 7,249.5 by 2328 GMT, snapping a three-day winning streak. The benchmark rose 0.3% on Thursday, and is on course for a 1.7% gain this week.

The technology sector (.AXIJ) slid 2.8%, tracking an overnight sell-off on Wall Street's tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite Index on the inflation number.

Australia-listed shares of Block Inc retreated 5.2%, while Xero (XRO.AX) and WiseTech Global (WTC.AX) shed about 2.9% each.

Separately, Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Philip Lowe again pushed back on calls for a rate hike, saying moving on interest rates too early could put the country's employment goals at risk, and that the board was prepared to be patient.

Insurance Australia Group (IAG.AX) rose 2.1% on Friday after higher natural peril claims drove its half-year cash earnings down 62% but still beat estimates.

Other financial stocks (.AXFJ) fell 0.5%, with the country's four largest lenders giving up between 0.2% and 1.1%.

Bucking the somber mood, heavyweight miners (.AXMM) limited losses on the benchmark with their 0.9% climb, led by BHP Group (BHP.AX) ticking up over 2%, aided by a firm iron ore price.

Rio Tinto (RIO.AX) and Fortescue Metals Group (FMG.AX) also added about 1.4% each.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index (.NZ50) fell 1% to 12,297.81 by 2328 GMT. 

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