Australia shares close lower on miners, Qantas at June highs

Thu Aug 28, 2014 2:24am EDT

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SYDNEY Aug 28 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.5 percent on Thursday as persistent weakness in iron ore prices hit miners, though a jump in Qantas helped bolster investor sentiment.

Australia's national carrier Qantas Airways Ltd soared 7 percent to A$1.385, its highest since early June.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dipped 26.8 points to 5,624.4 at the close of trade. The index added 0.2 percent on Wednesday, closing at a six-year high.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.1 percent or 6.2 points to finish the session at 5,237.5. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)