* Miners drop as iron ore prices fall below $100/tonne
* Some companies with US exposure gain on the back of weaker
* Treasury Wine jumps after rejecting takeover offer
(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)
By Thuy Ong and Naomi Tajitsu
SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, May 20 Australian shares
slipped 0.4 percent on Tuesday as sliding iron ore prices
weighed on the big miners, but broader losses were offset by the
weaker Aussie dollar lifting companies with large offshore
Miners continued to be sold off as spot iron ore prices fell
to a 2-1/2 year low below $100/tonne, while China and Singapore
futures hit record lows, under pressure from rising supply and
weaker Chinese steel markets.
Index heavyweights BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto
Ltd lost 0.6 percent and 0.7 percent, while Iluka
Resources Ltd was down 0.6 percent.
Elsewhere, Australia's Treasury Wine Estates
rocketed nearly 20 percent to mid-January highs of A$4.85 after
saying it has rejected a A$3.1 billion takeoever offer from
private equity giant Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co LP
because the bid was too low.
The S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 13.4 points to 5,395.6
by 0200 GMT. The benchmark fell 1.3 percent on Monday, its
biggest one-day percentage drop since mid-April.
"There's no doubt in the short term that downside pressure
in markets will continue because global economic recovery in
2014 is softer and going to be more prolonged," said Matthew
Sherwood, head of investment market research at Perpetual in
Sydney, adding that investors were questioning the justification
of cyclicly high market valuations.
"We're seeing investors sell out of lofty share market
valuations, taking some profits and deploying capital in other
parts of the market including the fixed-income market."
Companies with a large exposure in the U.S. market were
boosted by a weaker Australian dollar as earnings are elevated
when funds are repatriated.
Among these, QBE Insurance Ltd added 0.9 percent,
while sleep apnea products manufacturer Resmed Ltd was
up 0.3 percent.
The Aussie dollar is hovering close to 3-week lows of
Banks were choppy, falling after an initial rise, with
Westpac Banking Corp down 0.7 percent, Australia and
New Zealand Banking Group slipped 0.3 percent and
National Australia Bank lost 0.8 percent. The three
top-tier banks are currently hovering around two- to three-month
Moko Social Media Ltd jumped 18.5 percent after the
company announced it had filed for the company to be listed on
Genworth Mortgage Insurance Australia Ltd is set to
debut on the domestic market at 0200 GMT, after raising A$583
million in Australia's biggest initial public offering this
year. The issue price was A$2.65.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.3
percent to 5,149.51, as hefty losses in online auction site
TradeMe weighed on the country's shares.
TradeMe fell more than 2 percent to NZ$3.53, its lowest in
roughly two years, as investors dumped the stock on concerns
that it was losing market share in the online real estate sales
"People are worried and disappointed that TradeMe wasn't
able to hold onto its listings," Morningstar equities analyst
Nachiket Moghe said.
"The growth outlook for the company is not as good as
originally thought, they are also facing headwinds in their new
goods auctions business," he said, adding that shares could fall
further towards NZ$3.00 in the near term.
(Editing by Eric Meijer)