Australian shares slip as miners drag, Fed signals some more rate hikes
March 23 (Reuters) -Australian shares fell on Thursday, dragged by mining stocks on weak iron ore prices, while the U.S. Federal Reserve pencilling in another 25 basis point rate hike by this year end hit sentiment.
The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO fell 0.9% to 6,953.00 by 2336 GMT, after a two-day rally. The benchmark ended 0.9% higher on Wednesday.
The Fed raised rates by 25 basis points, as widely expected, and said some additional tightening might be possible, but suggested it was on the verge of pausing future hikes amid recent turmoil in the financial sector.
Fed Chair Jerome Powell, however, reiterated his desire to tame inflation, saying the Fed will do "enough" to bring inflation down to 2%, and it would raise rates higher if it needs to. MKTS/GLOB
In Sydney, miners .AXMM fell 1.6%, hitting their lowest since Nov. 28 as iron prices fell. IRONORE/
Sector majors Rio Tinto RIO.AX, BHP Group BHP.AX and Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX dipped between 1.1% and 2.3%.
Banking stocks .AXFJ shed 0.8%, with three of the 'Big Four' lenders falling between 0.1% and 0.4%.
Tech stocks .AXIJ tracked their Wall Street peers lower, falling 1.1%. .N
ASX-listed shares of Block Inc SQ2.AX and Xero Ltd XRO.AX dipped 5.2% and 3.2%, respectively, and were among the top losers on the bourse.
Gold stocks .AXGD rose 1.3% after two days of losses, as bullion prices jumped. GOL/
Gold has climbed over 7% so far this month, closing in on record highs above $2,000 hit in March 2020 on concerns surrounding the banking and financial industry, mainly triggered by higher rates.
Newcrest Mining NCM.AX and Northern Star Resources NST.AX added 1.8% and 3.3%, respectively, and were among the top gainers on the bourse.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 fell 0.7% to 11,501.06.
Leading NZ50 losses, Warehouse Group WHS.NZ slumped as much as 14.6%, after it reported a 60.9% drop in half-year profit after tax.
Reporting by Echha Jain in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich
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