Australia shares post slim gains on defensive buying

Thu Apr 3, 2014 1:25am EDT

(Updates to close)

SYDNEY, April 3 (Reuters) - Australian shares posted slender gains on Thursday, with investors switching to defensive stocks, while news China is rolling out modest stimulus failed to draw investors back to heavyweight miners and banks.

Australia's top central banker cautioned on Thursday that it was far too early to know if Australia will manage a slowdown in mining investment without suffering a slump, suggesting interest rates would need to stay at rock bottom for some time yet.

The S&P/ASX 200 index tacked on 0.1 percent, or 6.6 points, to finish at 5,409.9.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index inched up 0.1 percent to close at 5,122.4. (Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)