(Adds details, comments, stocks on the move)
CANBERRA, Nov 13 Australian shares fell 0.7
percent in late morning trade on Tuesday, dragged by miners and
banks, as investors cautiously await if the U.S. can reach a
political deal to head off spending cuts and tax hikes early
Despite better economic data from China, investor sentiments
are also weighed by how Europe tackled Greece's debt crisis,
"It's quite evident that investors would rather be
risk-averse, when they are not sure of where some of these key
events are likely to end," said Stan Shamu, a market analyst at
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index lost 30.3 points to
4,417.7 at 0049 GMT. It slipped 0.3 percent on Monday.
Top miner BHP Billiton Ltd edged 0.4 percent lower,
and Rio Tinto Ltd was down 0.3 percent.
Major banks all lost ground led by No.3 lender Westpac
Banking Corp falling 1.1 percent. The biggest lender
Commonwealth Bank of Australia declined 0.8 percent.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index lost ground and
was down 1.7 points to 3982.3, .
STOCKS ON THE MOVE
* Shares in Incitec Pivot Ltd surged 4.8 percent
after the company said it expected its margins to recover this
fiscal year after its annual profit before one-off items slumped
* Top insurer QBE Insurance Group plunged 5.3
percent, extending losses in the previous session after rating
agency S&P revised its outlook from stable to negative.
The insurer cut its full-year profit outlook on Monday to
reflect catastrophe claims arising from Hurricane Sandy.
(Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Eric Meijer)