Australia shares fall 0.6 pct, miners and banks lag

Tue Jan 8, 2013 12:25am EST

(Updates to close)
    SYDNEY, Jan 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares ended 0.6
percent lower on Tuesday, losing steam as miners and banks
retreated amid investor caution about a steep rise in iron ore
prices, U.S. corporate earnings and debt ceiling talks.
    Top miner BHP Billiton Ltd eased 0.8 percent, while
Rio Tinto Ltd fell 1.2 percent. 
    Australia's biggest lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia
 lost nearly 2.0 percent, stepping back from an all-time
high hit in the previous session. 
    The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 27.1 points at
4,690.2, according to the latest data. It slipped 0.1 percent to
4,717.3 on Monday.
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index inched up 0.1
percent to close at a fresh 5-year high of 4,090.4.

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Richard Pullin)