(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Feb 5 Australian shares eased 0.5
percent on Tuesday after discouraging U.S. factory orders hit
Wall Street and political ructions in Spain and Italy spurred
profit-taking, but the Australian central bank's decision to
keep interest rates on hold helped to trim losses.
The S&P/ASX 200 index ended 24.8 points lower at
4,882.7 according to latest data. The benchmark index hit an
intraday high of 4,951 but ended down 13.6 points at 4,907.5 on
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index finished 34.5
points lower at 4,212.
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Jacqueline Wong)