Australian shares fall in 4th session, Treasury wines tank on inflationary interventions

Australian shares fell for a fourth straight session on Thursday, led by miners and financial shares, while winemaker Treasury Wine Estates fell after warning of falling demand and higher packaging costs.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.7% at 7,165.3 by 0038 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.6% lower on Wednesday.

Treasury Wine Estates fell as much as 7.8% after the company warned that inflation was reducing demand for its commercial wine and driving up packaging costs. It was one of the biggest losers in the benchmark index.

Miners fell 1.7% to their lowest level since late March, when steel prices in China fell amid concerns about an economic recovery.

Rio Tinto and BHP Group lost 1% and 1.3% respectively.

Bank stocks lost 0.7%, with the “Big Four” banks falling between 0.3% and 0.7%.

Gold shares fell 2.2% to their lowest in more than seven weeks. Gold prices were flat after minutes of the last US Federal Reserve meeting indicated a pause in June rate hikes.

Sector majors Newcrest Mining and Northern Star Resources fell 1.2% and 2.9% respectively.

Meanwhile, the lack of progress in the US debt ceiling talks kept investors cautious. Domestic real estate and energy stocks fell 0.8% and 0.1%, respectively.

In New Zealand, the S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.1% to 11,965.39.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand (RBNZ) raised cash rates by another 25 basis points on Wednesday to 5.5%, the highest rate in more than 14 years.

RBNZ Governor Adrian Orr said the committee was currently confident about the level of interest rate control.

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Shares in Fonterra Cooperative Group rose 3.5% after the dairy giant raised its profit forecast for the 2023 financial year, expected to provide its farmers with cheaper milk. (Reporting by Poonam Behura; Editing by Shailesh Kuber)

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