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Australia shares slip as gold eases on U.S. stimulus hopes

* Gold sub-index skids more than 4.5%

* Aussie energy stocks hit 10-mth high

* NZ shares slip more than 1%

Jan 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares edged lower on Monday as a slump in shares of gold miners offset upbeat sentiment around hopes of more fiscal stimulus from the United States and buoyant oil prices.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 0.2% to 6,742.8 points by 2335 GMT.

The benchmark had surged in tandem with its global peers last week on bets that a Democrat-controlled Senate would help U.S. President-elect Joe Biden implement further stimulus in the near future.

Hopes of fiscal support, along with prospects for a smooth transition of power in Washington, have taken the shine off safe-haven assets such as gold.

Gold stocks slumped 4.6% and were set for their fourth straight session of decline.

Westgold Resources fell 7.52%, Dacian Gold eased 7.34%, and the country’s biggest gold miner Newcrest gave up 4.4%.

Losses on the bourse were contained, however, as energy stocks jumped more than 3% to their highest since March 2020, with oil prices near a one-year high after Saudi Arabia’s pledge last week to cut output.

Shares of Whitehaven Coal rose 2.9%, while Woodside Petroleum gained 2.8%.

Domestic sentiment was also supported by the easing of a three-week lockdown on Syndey’s Northern Beaches in New South Wales state.

The number of issues on the ASX that advanced were 673 while 575 declined as a 1.2-to-1 ratio favoured advancers. There were 106 new highs and 43 new lows.

New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index, which had scaled multiple record peaks last week, slid 1.54% to 13,349.6 points.

The Reserve Bank of New Zealand said on Sunday it was responding to a breach of one of its data systems, after a third-party file-sharing service it uses to share and store some sensitive information was illegally accessed. (Reporting by Shashwat Awasthi in Bengaluru; Editing by Lincoln Feast.)

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