* S&P/ASX 200 index down 0.2 percent, weighed down by miners
* China concerns linger after disappointing data
(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)
SYDNEY Jan 8 Australian shares slipped 0.2
percent on Wednesday morning, dragged lower by miners like Rio
Tinto on concerns about the economy in China, Australia's
biggest export market.
Rio Tinto Ltd lost 1.1 percent and BHP Billiton Ltd
shed 0.7 percent.
Growth in China's services industries slowed in December, a
pair of surveys showed, mirroring a slowdown in manufacturing
and confirming views that the world's second-largest economy
lost steam at the end of last year.
"I guess a lot of people view Australia as the extension of
China," said Credit Suisse equity strategist Damien Boey. "We
are kind of caught in this tension at the moment, and so what
you are seeing is that people are very cautious of the resources
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 12.4 points to 5,304.6 by
0049 GMT. The benchmark slipped 0.2 percent on Tuesday.
The local market opened with positive leads from overseas as
U.S. trade data and better German unemployment and consumer
spending figures gave the latest evidence of strengthening
fundamentals in developed economies.
"All can be seen as signs of risk-on in the developed world
and that the euro zone is returning to a place of growth," said
IG market strategist Even Lucas.
Australia's "Big Four" banks started to slip at midday. Top
lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia pared earlier
gains and was nearly flat, while Westpac Banking Corp
dipped 0.1 percent.
Among consumer stocks, supermarket operator Woolworths Ltd
rose 0.2 percent and Coles-owner Wesfarmers Ltd
climbed 0.6 percent.
Elsewhere, Sirtex Medical Limited jumped 17.2
percent after the drugmaker said the sales of its SIR-Spheres
liver cancer treatment grew 18.7 percent from a year earlier in
the quarter that ended in December.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.5
percent to 4,785.7.
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Chris Gallagher)