Australia shares open lower, BHP down 3 percent

Sun Mar 3, 2013 6:24pm EST

(Updates to open)
    SYDNEY, March 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.4
percent at open on Monday, hurt by lower metal prices and as
some blue chip stocks such as global miner BHP Billiton 
traded ex-dividend.
    The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index lost 19.7 points to
5,066.4 as of 2315 GMT. After a strong run for risk assets this
year, the index is susceptible to profit-taking and it slipped
0.4 percent on Friday. 
    BHP fell 3.0 percent to A$35.75 by 2315 GMT.
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 1.0
percent to 4,276.8.
    
    

 (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)
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