Australia shares end flat; Rio falls after weak results
(Updates to close) SYDNEY, Feb 15 (Reuters) - Australian shares finished flat on Friday, as investors were cautious after bleak euro zone data and a $3 billion annual loss from global miner Rio Tinto. The absence of positive catalysts kept most buyers at bay as markets awaited the outcome of the weekend meeting of G20 finance ministers in Moscow. Global iron ore miner Rio Tinto Ltd tumbled 2.7 percent while rival BHP Billiton Ltd dropped 0.8 percent. The S&P/ASX 200 index was 3 points lower at 5,033.9, according to the latest data. The index hit a 4-1/2 year high on Thursday, closing up 0.7 percent at 5,036.9 points. The benchmark jumped 1.3 percent for the week, continuing the market's bull-run for the fifth consecutive week. New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index closed the session down 1 percent or 42.5 points at 4,196.7. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)
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