Australia shares track Wall Street lower; gold loses shine



Sept 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell on Tuesday as technology stocks tracked the overnight plunge in Wall Street's tech-heavy Nasdaq index, while a firmer U.S. dollar pushed domestic gold stocks to their lowest level in 1-1/2 years.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO was down 0.62% at 7,338.50 points, as of 0100 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.57% higher on Monday.

Tech stocks .AXIJ dived 2.2% and extended losses to a third day after tracking Wall Street's Nadaq Composite Index .IXIC lower with investors pivoting to value as tech shares, hurt by rising Treasury yields, weighed on equities.

Megaport fell 3.3% to lead losses in the tech index, followed by Appen APX.AX that dropped 3.4%.

Sector heavyweight Afterpay APT.AX fell as much as 0.8% to hit a near one-week low and was on track for a second consecutive session of losses.

Gold stocks dived as much as 3.1% to their lowest level since March 2020 after a stronger dollar and elevated U.S. Treasury yields made bullion less appealing for holders of other currencies.

Gold miners Ora Banda Mining OBM.AX and Evolution Mining EVN.AX slid 4.3% and 3.9%, respectively, to lead losses in the index.

The metals and mining index .AXMM was down 1.4% after prices of industrial metals fell as power curbs in top consumer China continued to hit demand.

Mining heavyweights Rio Tinto RIO.AX , BHP Group BHP.AX and Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX fell between 1.1% and 2.1%.

Energy stocks .AXEJ bucked the trend to gain up to 3.2%, hitting their highest level in more than two months on firmer oil prices.

Beach Energy BPT.AX rose 7.3% to lead gains in the index while sector heavyweights Whitehaven Coal WHC.AX and Woodside Petroleum WPL.AX were up 4.2% and 3.9%, respectively.

Financials .AXFJ climbed 0.4% with the "Big Four" banks gaining between 0.2% and 2%.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei .N225 was down 0.6% at 30,054.01 points versus the previous session's close of 30,240.06 points.

Across the Tasman sea, New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 was down 0.1% at 13,221.30 points.


Reporting by Tejaswi Marthi in Bengaluru, Editing by Sherry Jacob-Phillips

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