Australia shares drift; miners up, banks unwind gains

Tue Jan 29, 2013 6:22pm EST

MELBOURNE, Jan 30 (Reuters) - Australian shares drifted on
Wednesday as banks gave up some recent gains, but top miners
climbed on firmer copper prices after China's top think tank
raised its economic growth forecast for 2013..
    The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 1.3 points
at 4,887.7 by 2315 GMT. On Tuesday, it rose 1.1 percent, or 53.8
points, to its highest since April 2011.
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4
percent to 4,218.9.
    Top miner BHP Billiton rose 0.9 percent while banks
declined, led by a loss of 0.8 percent in National Australia
Bank.
    Supermarkets-to-hardware retailer Wesfarmers 
slipped 0.8 percent to A$38.53 after it said same-store December
quarter sales at its Coles supermarket chain rose 3.9 percent
from a year earlier, a touch softer than analyst forecasts.

 (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Richard Pullin)