Australia shares fall as subdued copper prices weigh on metal stocks



Sept 22 (Reuters) - Australia shares fell on Wednesday, weighed down by heavyweight banks and mining stocks as copper prices dropped, although gains in energy, tech and gold stocks capped losses.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO fell 0.23% to 7,256.8 by 0023 GMT, after ending 0.4% higher in the previous session.

Copper prices extended their decline to a one-month low on Tuesday on renewed fears that troubles at debt-laden developer China Evergrande Group 3333.HK could seep into the global economy.

Australian mining stocks .AXMM fell 0.4%, led by a 2.3% drop in Liontown Resources Ltd LTR.AX , followed by Coronado Global Resources Inc CRN.AX losing 2.01%.

Global miners BHP BHP.AX , Rio Tinto RIO.AX and Fortescue Metlas FMG.AX declined between 0.1% and 0.6%.

Financial stocks .AXFJ shed nearly 1% to hit a more than seven-week low, with the "Big Four" banks declining between 0.5% and 1.1%.

QBE Insurance Group QBE.AX and NIB Holdings NHF.AX were the worst performers on the financials sub-index, losing 2.3% and 2.2%, respectively.

Westpac WBC.AX fell for a fourth straight session, losing as much as 1.2%, after it scrapped the sale of its Pacific businesses to Kina Securities KSL.AX , and said it expected to write back a loss of about A$121 million ($87.52 million) it had recognised with its first-half results.

In contrast, energy stocks .AXEJ rose 1%, led by Washington H Soul Pattinson and Company SOL.AX adding 2.9%, followed by Worley WOR.AX gaining 2.7% on a modest rise in oil prices overnight.

Tech stocks .AXIJ rose 0.3%, led by Xero Ltd XRO.AX up 1.5%, followed by Megaport Ltd MP1.AX gaining 0.6%.

Wall Street closed near flat overnight ahead of the U.S. Federal Reserve meeting, where the central bank could set out a timeline to taper its stimulus.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 fell 0.1% to 13,163.

Japan's Nikkei .N225 was down 0.46%, and S&P 500 E-minis futures EScv1 were down 0.35%. ($1 = 1.3826 Australian dollars)
Reporting by Aditya Munjuluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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