Australia shares slip on looming election, trade deficit
(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Sept 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.4 percent on Thursday, as investors locked-in profits in banks and miners ahead of Saturday's national elections, while surprisingly large trade deficit further dampened sentiment.
Australia posted a trade deficit of A$765 million in July, compared with an expected balanced position. Investors were cautious ahead of the U.S. nonfarm payrolls on Friday, which could provide an important clue on whether the Federal Reserve will start to reduce its stimulus this month.
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 19.1 points to 5,142.5. The benchmark fell 0.7 percent on Wednesday.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 percent to 4,604.4.
(Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Eric Meijer & Shri Navaratnam)
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