Australian shares fell on Friday, as investors took cues from a tepid Wall Street overnight finish after the U.S. Federal Reserve reiterated aggressive rate-hike views, while miners also dragged the benchmark index lower on weak iron ore prices.
The S&P/ASX 200 index.AXJO was down 1.5% at 7,479.20 points, as of 0038 GMT. The benchmark, which closed 0.3% higher on Thursday, was on track for its worst week in two months, if losses hold.
Miners slumped 3.9% and were set for their biggest weekly drop since last August after iron ore prices fell amid COVID-19 concerns and steel production controls in top steel producer China.
Global miners BHP BHP.AX and Rio Tinto RIO.AX, which flagged continuing production weakness earlier this week, fell 5% and 4.1%, respectively, to be the top losers in the mining sub-index.
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BHP was on track to mark the biggest weekly drop in eight months while Rio was poised for its worst day since March 15.
Shares of Fortescue Metals Group FMG.AX, which is due to report its quarterly production numbers next week, skid 3.2%.
Tech stocks.AXIJ fell 2.5% to hit a one-month low, tracking the tech-heavy Nasdaq lower after Fed Chair Jerome Powell offered further signposting of aggressive interest rate hikes this year. .N
Australia-listed shares of Megaport MP1.AX and Block Inc SQ2.AX dived 10.6% and 5.9%, respectively, to be the top losers in the technology sub-index.
Financials were down 0.9% with the "Big Four" banks losing between 0.4% and 0.8%. Looming rate hikes weighed on bullion with gold stocks.