* Trading muted ahead of key U.S. jobs report
* S&P/ASX 200 flat as resources dip offsets gains among
(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)
By Thuy Ong
SYDNEY, May 2 Australian shares slipped 0.1
percent in muted trade on Friday, as resource stocks fell on
weak metals prices, though gains in the financial sector and
Treasury Wine helped keep the market afloat as investors await
key U.S. jobs data.
Financials rebounded from a sell-off over previous
sessions. Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Australia
and New Zealand Banking Group both added 0.4 percent
while National Australia Bank was up 0.3 percent.
Macquarie reversed early losses to add 0.1 percent
as Australia's top investment bank beat forecasts with a 56
percent jump in half-year earnings, although analysts said
investors were disappointed with its soft guidance.
Treasury Wine Estate Ltd shares soared 10.3 percent
to three-month highs of A$4.235 after reports French company
Pernod Ricard was interested in buying its troubled
The S&P/ASX 200 index dipped 4.6 points to 5,444.1
by 0206 GMT. The benchmark fell 0.7 percent on Thursday and is
on track to post a 1.6 percent loss for the week, which would
snap six consecutive weeks of gains.
Volumes were low, with 155.9 million shares traded by 0203
GMT compared to a daily moving average of 611.5 million shares
so far in 2014.
"It's typical price action ahead of U.S. jobs," said Peter
Esho, chief market analyst at broker Invast.
"U.S. jobs are out tonight and non-farm payroll numbers and
our market always goes to sleep going into the U.S. jobs numbers
with a few exceptions here or there. I expect it to stay that
way for the rest of the day."
Among miners, bluechips BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio
Tinto Ltd lost 0.9 percent and 0.1 percent each, while
Iluka Resources Ltd dropped 1.5 percent. Aluminium fell
to a one-month low, and copper dropped to its lowest in
two-weeks following disappointing data on factory activity in
top consumer China.
Padbury Mining Ltd plunged 85 percent to 3-month
lows of A$0.005 after funding for its planned Oakajee port and
rail project in Western Australia collapsed.
In the retail sector, Myer Holdings Ltd lost 2.8
percent to 1-1/2 year lows of A$2.11 after the Australian
department store operator reported a 0.9 percent fall in
third-quarter total sales to A$646.5 million.
Rival David Jones Ltd added 0.1 percent.
Affinity Education Group Ltd climbed 2.3 percent
after increasing its debt facilities with the Commonwealth Bank
of Australia to A$115 million.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index rose 0.3
percent or 17.8 points to 5,227.0.
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Eric Meijer)