Australian shares fall in early trade, Japan points to a cautious open in Asia

SectorFinancial Markets
CountryMiddle east

An electronic board displays stock information at the Australian Securities Exchange, operated by ASX Ltd. on March 16, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. SINGAPORE — Australian shares fell in early trade Wednesday, led by losses in the gold, communications and material sectors. The benchmark ASX 200 was down 0.58%. The heavily-weighted financials subindex slipped 0.63% as the country's so-called Big Four banks struggled for gains. Shares of ANZ were down 0.6%, Commonwealth Bank shares dropped 0.44%, Westpac fell 1.03% and the National Australia Bank declined 0.68%. Nikkei futures pointed to a cautious open in Japan, where markets were closed on Tuesday for a public holiday. The session in Asia follows a mixed finish on Wall Street, where the Dow Jones Industrial Average reversed steep losses after Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell eased some of the worries around higher interest rates and inflation. more...