Australian shares fall for a third straight session; miners weigh
Updates to close
By Nausheen Thusoo
May 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed marginally lower on Thursday, their third consecutive session of losses, amid a drag in miners and as investors weighed the ramifications of a cooling, but still historically high U.S. inflation reading.
The S&P/ASX 200 index .AXJO inched 0.1% lower at the close of trade.
Markets globally were influenced by the U.S. Labor Department's Consumer Price Index, which rose 4.9% in April from a year ago, compared with expectations of a 5% increase. MKTS/GLOB
Meanwhile, Australia's biggest trade partner China's consumer prices rose at the slowest pace in more than two years in April, reinforcing the signals that domestic demand remains lacklustre.
On the local bourse, export-reliant miners .AXMM fell 0.5% with behemoths BHP Group Ltd BHP.AX, Rio Tinto Ltd RIO.AX and Fortescue Metals Ltd FMG.AX closing lower.
The U.S. CPI data on Wednesday raised hopes that the Federal Reserve would hike interest rates in its June meeting. FEDWATCH
However, Matt Simpson, Senior Market Analyst at City Index, said "there was clear winner from the U.S. inflation report because, even if headline inflation was a touch lower than expected, it remains elevated by historical standards and relative to the Fed’s 2% target".
Commenting on the future of rate hikes from the Fed and RBA, Simpson added that the central banks were likely going to wait until wage data, employment figures and the monthly inflation report is released before deciding whether to hold or hike rates, but hoped of a pause on the cards.
Gold stocks .AXGD descended 0.9%
The overall fall was capped by a gain in tech .AXIJ and energy stocks .AXEJ, which gained 1.4% and 0.1% respectively.
New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index .NZ50 fell 0.8% to finish the session at 11,887.76-points.
(Reporting by Nausheen Thusoo in Bengaluru; Editing by Varun H K)
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