Australia shares extend losses as CSL, Fairfax slide; NZ edge lower

(Updates to close)

July 3 (Reuters) – Australian shares extended losses from
the end of last week, with Monday’s weakness led by biotech
giant CSL Ltd, the biggest drag on the benchmark, while Fairfax
Media tumbled after two private equity firms withdrew rival
takeover bids.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.7 percent, or 36.99
points, to 5,684.5 at the close of trade.

Australian shares fell 1.7 percent on Friday, recording
their biggest percentage fall since Nov. 2016, in a broad-based
sell-off, following a slump on Wall Street.

CSL Ltd was the biggest drag on the benchmark,
falling 2 percent to a near one-month closing low.

“CSL is just pulling back from an all-time record high, so
it is not unusual to see a little bit of correction in it,” said
Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

Among the other big losers was Fairfax Media, which
slumped more than 10 percent to its lowest since March after it
said two private equity firms withdrew from rival takeover bids
worth up to A$2.9 billion ($2.2 billion).

At the other end, Virgin Australia Holdings gained
more than 6 percent after the carrier said it expects to report
positive cash flow for the 2017 fiscal year.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index edged 0.3
percent, or 23.01 points, lower to finish the session at
7,588.43.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd was the biggest
drag, sliding 2 percent.

($1 = 1.3036 Australian dollars)
(Reporting By Shashwat Pradhan in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri
Navaratnam)

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