Australia shares slip as virus restrictions threaten economic recovery

Credit: REUTERS/DAVID GRAY

Australian shares slipped on Friday from a record closing high scaled the previous day, as strict restrictions in major cities dampened sentiment, while casino operator Crown Resorts slumped after Star Entertainment withdrew its takeover bid.

July 23 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped on Friday from a record closing high scaled the previous day, as strict restrictions in major cities dampened sentiment, while casino operator Crown Resorts slumped after Star Entertainment withdrew its takeover bid.

The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO fell 0.21% to 7,371.1 by 0015 GMT, but was on track for a weekly gain.

Strict restrictions in major cities, specifically in Sydney, are threatening the country's economic recovery, with some analysts expecting the economy to shrink in the third quarter.

Miners .AXMM were the top percentage losers in the index, shedding as much as 0.7%. Silver Lake Resources Ltd SLR.AX fell 9.35%, while MACA Ltd MLD.AX dropped 3.76%.

Among financials .AXFJ, top lenders Commonwealth Bank of Australia CBA.AX and Westpac Banking Corp WBC.AX advanced as much as 1.1% and 1.3%, respectively.

Energy stocks .AXEJ fell 1.1​%, led by Santos Ltd STO.AX, which dropped 1.6%, and Oil Search Ltd OSH.AX, which lost 1.47%.

Star Entertainment Group SGR.AX jumped 1.7% after it withdrew its all-stock proposed takeover of rival Crown Resorts CWN.AX for $9 billion. Crown Resorts declined 4.4%.

Among top percentage losers on the benchmark index, Northern Star Resources NST.AX fell 3.44% and Westgold Resources WGX.AX slipped 2.6%.

In New Zealand, the benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 fell up to 0.21% to 12,693.62.

Top percentage losers on the benchmark were a2 Milk Co ATM.NZ, down 1.64%, followed by Vista Group International VGL.NZ, losing 1.32% and Vital Healthcare Property Trust VHP.NZ, down 0.94%.

Elsewhere, Japan's Nikkei .N225 was up 0.58% at 27,548, while S&P 500 E-minis futures EScv1 were up 0.21%.

(Reporting by Sameer Manekar in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)

((Sameer.Manekar@thomsonreuters.com; +918061823447;))

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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