(Updates to close)
SYDNEY Feb 4 Australian shares tumbled 1.8
percent on Tuesday, their biggest one-day drop since August,
after disappointing U.S. manufacturing data pressured Wall
Street and Australia's central bank kept rates steady as the
market had expected.
The Reserve Bank of Australia kept its main cash rate at a
record low of 2.5 percent, saying the most prudent course for
policy was likely to be a period of stability in interest rates.
The S&P/ASX 200 index lost 90.8 points to finish at
5,097.1, a six-week closing low.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index shed 1 percent
or 46.9 points to finish the session at 4,802.6.
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Chris Gallagher)