Australia shares tread water; China concerns weigh on miners

Wed Jan 8, 2014 12:26am EST

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY Jan 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares finished flat on Wednesday, with gains in defensive stocks offset by weakness in miners on concerns about the economy in China, Australia's biggest export market.

The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 1.0 points to 5,316.0, pulling back from a strong start in the morning on positive overseas leads. The benchmark slipped 0.2 percent on Tuesday.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.4 percent to 4,779.8. (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Eric Meijer)