SYDNEY, Oct 31 Australian shares edged down 0.1
percent on Thursday, weighed down by losses in the financial
sector after National Australia Bank slumped on
concerns about its British business, but ended the month 4
percent higher to hover at five-year highs.
NAB, the country's top lender by assets, tumbled 2.5 percent
after it reported a record annual profit but analysts said its
earnings potential had been constrained by its struggling
The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 5.4 points to 5,425.5,
after rising 0.3 percent on Wednesday.
Investors were also cautious after Wall Street lost ground
on Tuesday as the U.S. Federal Reserve's latest policy outlook
was seen as steering clear of some of the more ultra-dovish
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index added 0.9
percent to a record high of 4,909.7.
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang,; Editing by Chris Gallagher)