Australia shares set to fall in the run-up to US elections; NZ flat

An investor looks at a board displaying stock prices at the Australian Securities Exchange in Sydney, Australia. PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - Australian shares are expected to dive for a fifth straight session on Monday (Nov 7) as tension heightens a day before the much anticipated US Presidential elections.

The local share price index futures slipped 0.6 percent, a 56.8-point discount to the underlying S&P/ASX 200 index close. The benchmark closed 0.9 per cent lower on Friday (Nov 4), the lowest since the end of June.

Earnings results from Westpac Banking Corp may determine the course of financials. Australia's second-biggest bank by market value reported a flat annual profit and lowered its return on equity target amid a challenging environment of lower interest rates and higher funding costs.

New Zealand's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was flat at 6,706.18 in early trade.

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