* ASX 200 falls 0.2 pct as miners, banks mixed
* 67 shares higher, 117 shares lower, 16 shares unchanged.
(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)
By Thuy Ong and Naomi Tajitsu
SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, Aug 13 Australian shares
slipped 0.2 percent on Wednesday after Wall Street edged down
and investors again became wary about developments in Ukraine,
though an uptick in earnings helped buoy the market.
Investors kept an eye on Russia, which sent a convoy of 280
trucks carrying humanitarian aid to eastern Ukraine. Western
officials had been wary of the gesture, fearing Russia would use
the mission as a cover for invading Ukraine.
Miners dropped after London copper fell to near six-week
lows on improving supply. Rio Tinto Ltd tumbled 2.2
percent, while Oz Minerals Ltd lost 3.1 percent after
reporting a third consecutive half-year loss, the latest one
being A$7.4 million.
CSL Ltd gained 2.8 percent after the pharmaceutical
firm reported a 7.8 percent rise in full-year net profit to $1.3
The S&P/ASX 200 index declined 11.5 points to
5,518.8 by 0358 GMT. The benchmark surged 1.3 percent on
Tuesday, its biggest one-day percentage gain since July 2.
A measure of Australian consumer sentiment rose strongly in
August as households grew more optimistic on the near-term
economic outlook and fretted less about their finances, even as
wage growth stayed stuck at 16-year lows.
"The continued recovery in consumer confidence adds to other
indicators in suggesting that the fall in real retail sales in
the June quarter is likely to be temporary," said Shane Oliver,
head of investment strategy at AMP Capital.
Among retail stocks, Myer Holdings Ltd dipped 0.4
percent, while Harvey Norman slipped 0.2 percent.
Among other stocks reporting earnings, Commonwealth Bank of
Australia lost 0.7 percent, though still hovered at
A$81.12, about A$2 below record highs, after the country's top
lender by market value said its full-year cash profit grew about
12 percent to a record. National Australia Bank dipped
Echo Entertainment Group climbed 4.1 percent after
the gaming company posted a 12 percent rise in core earnings,
boosted by an improved performance at its Australian casinos.
Goodman Fielder Ltd lost 1.2 percent after the
Australia and New Zealand supplier said it slid to a net loss in
the year ended June as it booked a massive impairment charge on
its struggling baking unit.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX-50 index slipped 1.70
points to 5,054.11, tracking weakness in most global share
indices and keeping the bourse near a four-month low hit earlier
in the week.
Losses were led by a 2 percent slide in accounting software
developer Xero, which traded near a 10-month low
touched at the start of the week.
But further losses were limited by a 1.7 percent rise in
SkyCity, which rose to NZ$3.61, recovering from a
two-year low of NZ$3.52 the previous day even as the casino
operator reported a 23 percent tumble in annual profit.
"The share price had really fallen away since July, and
market expectations had been quite low going into the results,"
said Matt Goodson, managing director at Salt Funds Management.
"But SkyCity delivered results reasonably in line with
forecasts so shares have bounced on that."
(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Borsuk)