Australia shares close lower on Syria, gold sector pares losses
(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Sept 4 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.7 percent on Wednesday, retreating from 3-1/2 month highs, as the United States edged closer to military action against Syria, but a rally in gold prices helped temper losses.
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 35 points to finish at 5,161.6.
The benchmark rose 0.2 percent on Tuesday to its highest close since May 20.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.1 percent or 3.6 points to finish the session at 4,610.3. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Kim Coghill)