Afterpay jumps nearly 5% on strong Q1 results
ANZ sees $376 million hit to H2 earnings
Financial index hits over two-week low
Oct 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged lower on Wednesday due to waning prospects of a U.S. stimulus deal and rising global cases of the novel coronavirus, although gains in local healthcare and tech stocks limited the benchmark's losses.
The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO dipped 0.1% to 6,047.6 by 0017 GMT, weighed down by financials and energy sub-indexes. The benchmark lost 1.7% on Tuesday.
Overnight, Wall Street closed lower after U.S. President Donald Trump acknowledged the much-needed COVID-19 stimulus, the cause of intense market volatility these past few weeks, would likely come after the Nov. 3 election, .N
Denting sentiment further, global cases of COVID-19 crossed 43.61 million, with the death toll at 1,160,278, a Reuters tally showed. In the United States, the disease has killed more than 225,000 and infected more than 8.7 million people.
Australia's heavyweight financial sub-index index .AXFJ fell 1% to lead losses and hit a two-week low. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group's ANZ.AX shares were the biggest drag.
Shares of the country's third largest lender slid 2.7% on revealing a $376 million hit to second-half earnings.
The other three of the "Big Four" banks traded 1.4% to 1.7% lower.
The ASX 200 Energy index .AXEJ fell 1.5%. Electricity retailer Origin Energy Ltd ORG.AX led the decline with its 2.6% fall, and fuel refiner Ampol Ltd ALD.AX dropped 2.3%.
The healthcare .AXHJ and tech indexes .AXIJ firmed 1.2% and 2.2%, respectively, to counter some of the losses on the benchmark.
Shares of medical device maker Resmed Inc RMD.AX jumped 4.3% to power healthcare stocks a day before the U.S.-based company's quarterly results where it's expected to record a jump in revenue.
Meanwhile, buy-now-pay-later favourite Afterpay Ltd's APT.AX stellar first-quarter results boosted its stock price by nearly 5%.
New Zealand's benchmark .NZ50 gained 0.4% or 57.9 points to 12,309.8.
Gains were driven by healthcare firms Fisher and Paykel Healthcare Corp Ltd FPH.NZ and Oceania Healthcare Ltd OCA.NZ, advancing 4.6% and 1.4%, respectively.
(Reporting by Anushka Trivedi in Bengaluru; editing by Uttaresh.V)
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