* Gold stocks led losses on the benchmark Aussie
* Coast Energy decreased by 24%
* ASX gives the best month of the year five
* NZX50 increased 0.13%
April 30 (Reuters) – Australian stocks finished lower on Friday, with Beach Energy’s trading updates weighing on sentiment, even as the index marked its best month in five months.
The S & P / ASX 200 index fell 0.8% to 7,025.8 points, retreating from the previous session’s 14-month peaks.
Beach Energy Ltd led the losses as it plunged 24% after cutting its reserve forecast and revenue outlook following a review of production cuts at the Western Flank field in South Australia.
Monthly manufacturing data from China shows a slow recovery and slowing demand in the world’s second-largest economy and what that means for Australia, said its main trading partner, James Tao, market analyst at CommSec.
“Traders only engaged in some profit taking at the end of the month and that dragged down the market today and the negative trading announcements from the index giants did not help the problem any further,” he added.
Gold stocks fell 2.2%, with the nation’s biggest producer Newcrest Mining slumping up to 2.6% as bullion fell as higher US Treasury yields dampened its appeal.
The energy subindex slid 1.7%, hit by Beach Energy and falling oil prices on fears of a broader lockdown in major oil consumers India and Brazil.
Heavyweights Woodside Petroleum Ltd and Viva Energy Group each fell 1.8%.
Among individual stocks, US-based ResMed Inc slumped after a tax dispute caused sleep apnea specialists to book quarterly losses.
New Zealand’s benchmark S & P / NZX 50 index rose 0.13% to 12,731.1. ($ 1 = 1.2858 Australian dollars) (Reported by Riya Sharma in Bengaluru; Edited by Shounak Dasgupta)