(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, May 1 Australian shares slipped 0.5
percent on Wednesday as disappointing Chinese manufacturing data
and weak metal prices weighed on miners, but trading was subdued
with many investors on the sidelines ahead of the Federal
Reserve meeting result.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 25.0 points
to 5,166.2, according to the latest data. The market climbed 1.3
percent on Tuesday to close at its highest level in almost five
years, led by sharp gains in the financial sector.
Global miner BHP Billiton dropped 1.6 percent,
while rival Rio Tinto Ltd lost 1.4 percent, deepening
their losses after data showed growth in China's manufacturing
sector unexpectedly slowed in April.[ID:nL3N0DI04Y
Analysts said investors were in a wait-and-see mode as the
Federal Reserve wraps up a two-day meeting, at which it is
widely expected to recommit to its aggressive easing programme,
or even expand it.
Australia's flagship phone company Telstra Corp Ltd
continued to push higher, gaining 1.0 percent to a nearly
eight-year high of A$5.03, after its deputy chief financial
officer said the company was on track for its full-year earnings
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged down 0.2
percent to 4,603.0.
(Reporting By Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Kim Coghill)