* Banks biggest drag on benchmark index
* Tech stocks settle at one-month high
* New Zealand markets closed for holiday (Updates to close)
June 7 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed slightly lower on Monday, retreating from a record high scaled in early deals as National Australian Bank and major casino operators slid on concerns over regulatory probes.
The S&P/ASX 200 slipped 0.2% to 7,281.9, after hitting a record high of 7,309.4 earlier on the back of gains in tech stocks including Altium.
National Australia Bank (NAB) said it was under investigation for suspected serious and ongoing breaches of anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism laws, sparking concerns about potential fines and higher compliance costs.
The news sent heavyweight financials 1.1% lower, with NAB shares shedding 3.2% in their worst session since Aug. 3. The remaining three banks of the so called “Big Four” fell between 0.6% and 1.3%.
Major casino operators declined after the country’s financial crime regulator said it was investigating Star Entertainment, Crown Resorts and New Zealand’s SkyCity Entertainment over possible breaches of anti-money laundering laws.
“The market has got a very bad taste in its mouth on this subject,” said Brad Smoling, managing director at Smoling Stockbroking.
“My gut feeling is that something systemic or very large is at play here, given the market has reacted violently towards them today.”
Star fell 2% in its worst session since May 19, while Crown Resorts declined 1.5%. ASX-listed shares of SkyCity gave up 6.5%.
Technology stocks tracked Friday’s gains in major Wall Street indexes and closed at a one-month high.
Software maker Altium marked its best session in more than a decade with a jump of 39% after it rejected a buyout proposal from U.S.-based Autodesk while keeping the door open for a better offer.
Gold stocks also gained, tracking a jump in bullion prices. Newcrest Mining advanced 0.6% and Calidus Resources added 4.2%.
In other news, Victoria state reported its biggest rise in new locally acquired COVID-19 cases in a week.
New Zealand markets were closed for a holiday. (Reporting by Harish Sridharan in Bengaluru; Editing by Subhranshu Sahu)