Australian shares slumped on Thursday, hit by a drop in Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd after its annual net profit came in slightly lower than estimates.
ANZ, the country’s No 3 lender, said its statutory net profit rose 12 per cent to A$6.41 billion, just below the A$6.87 billion average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S.
ANZ shares slipped as much as 2.4 per cent after the results, the biggest daily percentage drop in nearly 11 weeks, and its lowest price in more than two weeks.
Other “Big Four” banks followed suit, falling between 0.5 per cent and 0.6 per cent. The financial index posted its biggest daily drop in more than three weeks.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 15.6 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,890 at 0115 GMT. The benchmark rose 0.1 per cent on Wednesday.
Miners steepened the slide on the index, with BHP Billiton falling to its lowest in nearly a week on soft iron ore prices.
Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, the world’s fourth-largest producer of iron ore, logged its biggest single-day percentage fall in nearly six weeks with a 3.8 per cent drop, after reporting only a slight rise in iron ore shipments.
Qantas Airways plunged 7.2 per cent to a three-week low early on after saying it expected slower revenue growth, but the shares later trimmed losses to trade down 1.9 per cent.
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