Australia shares slip for a second session after Wall Street fall

Mon Jul 7, 2014 10:51pm EDT

Related Topics

* ASX 200 down 0.2 percent, banks and miners fall

* NAB business confidence survey at 5-month high

* Pending U.S. earnings season prompts caution (Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

By Thuy Ong and Gyles Beckford

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, July 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped 0.2 percent on Tuesday, pressured by big name banks as Wall Street fell overnight, while a drop in metal and oil prices constrained resource sector stocks.

The banking sector fell for a second day after robust gains last week. No. 3 lender Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp lost 0.8 percent and National Australia Bank, the top lender by assets, dropped 0.7 percent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index declined 10.3 points to 5,508.6 by 0218 GMT. On Monday, the benchmark fell 0.1 percent.

The NAB Business Confidence index hit the highest level in five months in June, though that "failed to spark much buying interest," William Leys, sales trader at CMC Markets, said in a note.

He said the pending U.S. earnings season "has prompted buying caution as full valuations mean expectations are high."

U.S. stocks on Monday retreated from last week's record level on hesitancy to make big bets before earnings season.

Energy stocks were lower as Brent and U.S. crude oil futures fell overnight to the lowest levels in a month as supply in Iraq remained unaffected by violence sweeping the OPEC country.

Australia's top oil producer Woodside Petroleum Ltd dropped 1.1 percent and Oil Search Ltd 0.8 percent.

Copper edged off a 4-month peak overnight as investors took profits, though lingering supply concerns kept a floor under prices. BHP Billiton Ltd and Iluka Resources Ltd both fell 0.6 percent.

APN News & Media Ltd climbed 1.7 percent after confirming a printing deal with Fairfax Media Ltd in Auckland. Fairfax was flat.

Altona Mining Ltd bounced almost 30 percent to its highest since March 2013 of A$0.22, having sold its Finnish assets for A$101 million. It said it intends to make a cash payment to shareholders of A$0.15 per share.

The New Zealand share market was softer but with no particular driving force with the benchmark NZX-50 index was 14.77 points or 0.29 percent lower at 5,171.59.

Retirement village operator Summerset Ltd was down 2.1 percent at NZ$3.30, and software company Xero Ltd was off 1.9 percent to NZ$26.00.

New Zealand Oil and Gas Ltd was down 2.5 percent at NZ$0.79. It said a joint venture of had been given the right to explore for "unconventional" oil and gas resources in Indonesia. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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