for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up

Australia shares drop as investors await corporate earnings; NZ falls

* Energy stocks and miners give up early gains

* Afterpay retreats from record high, closes down 0.8%

* Macquarie group outperforms, up 6% after Q3 earnings (Updates to close)

Feb 9 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell in low-volume trade on Tuesday, weighed by banking stocks, as investors held off making big bets ahead of major corporate earnings due later in the week.

The S&P/ASX 200 index settled down 0.86% at 6,821.2 points, halting two days of gains, with trading volumes at about half of the 30-day average during most of the session.

Earnings from the Commonwealth Bank of Australia, the country’s biggest lender are due on Wednesday, while Newcrest Mining, Australia’s biggest gold miner by market cap, and AGL Energy, the biggest power retailer in the country, will report results later in the week.

In a bright spot, asset manager Macquarie Group jumped nearly 7% and was the biggest percentage gainer on the benchmark after the company reported that third-quarter profit from its commodities trading and dealmaking units rose sharply.

However, its gains failed to prop up the broader financial sub-index which closed 0.7% lower. Bendigo and Adelaide Bank and Bank of Queensland were among the top drags on the sector.

Tech stocks lost 1% after a strong start earlier in the day, as buy-now-pay-later firm Afterpay retreated from a record high and closed down 0.8%.

A Reuters report showed that identity theft complaints in Australia involving buy-now-pay-later finance doubled to a record last year, raising calls for authorities to rein in the booming market.

Energy stocks and miners gave up gains accrued through the session in the last hour of trading and closed down 0.6% and 0.2%, respectively.

In New Zealand, the benchmark ended 1% lower at 12,927.69 points.

Reporting by Arundhati Dutta in Bengaluru; Editing by Amy Caren Daniel

for-phone-onlyfor-tablet-portrait-upfor-tablet-landscape-upfor-desktop-upfor-wide-desktop-up