Australia shares slip to 7-week low on Fed taper speculation, trade deficit

Thu Dec 5, 2013 12:30am EST

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY Dec 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 1.4 percent on Thursday, the biggest one-day percentage loss in more than two months, as investors become more concerned that the Federal Reserve might start trimming its stimulus soon, while awaiting the U.S. payroll numbers due on Friday.

Sentiment was also soured by data showing Australia posted a bigger-than-expected trade deficit in October.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 75.8 points to close at 5,198.0, the lowest since Oct 15. The benchmark rose 0.4 percent on Wednesday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index dropped 0.3 percent to 4,719.9. (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Kim Coghill)