Australian shares slip as tech stocks mirror Wall Street peers' losses

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* AMP slumps after Ares Management withdraws buyout offer

* Newcrest boosts gold sector after HY results

* Telstra rises after maintaining dividends

Feb 11 (Reuters) – Australian shares egded down on Thursday, as a slump in technology stocks following overnight losses in their Wall Street peers outweighed gains in Newcrest Mining and Telstra on upbeat half-year reports.

The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 0.09% to 6,850.60 by 0103 GMT. The benchmark closed 0.5% higher on Wednesday.

Major indexes on Wall Street slipped from record levels in the last trading session, with U.S. tech giants Tesla,, Microsoft and Apple weighing the most on the S&P 500 and Nasdaq indexes.

The Australian tech sector followed suit, losing as much as 2.1%. The subindex was set for its worst day since Feb. 1.

WiseTech Global and Afterpay Ltd shed more than 2% each.

The heavyweight financial sector slipped 0.9% with three of the ‘Big Four’ banks trading in red.

Wealth manager AMP Ltd fell as much as 10.7% to mark its biggest intraday percentage drop since July 31, after U.S.-based Ares Management withdrew its $4.5 billion buyout offer. AMP also posted a 32% fall in annual profit.

Healthcare stocks also fell about 0.7%, with Nanosonics dropping over 7.5% and Healius losing more than 2%.

The gold index rose 3.8% to its highest since Jan. 28, after Newcrest Mining, the country’s largest listed gold miner, posted a 98% rise in half-yearly underlying profit.

Shares of Newcrest were set for their best session in eight months and were among top gainers on the ASX 200.

Telstra Corp, the largest telecom company in Australia, strengthened 3.5% after the firm held its interim dividend at 8 cents per share and special dividend of 3 cents per share.

The stock boosted the telecoms index over 1% to its highest since August 2017.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index slipped 0.5% to 12,770.63.

Top losers were Meridian Energy and Vista Group, both falling about 2.5%.

Reporting by Nikhil Subba in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi Aich

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