January 10, 2018 / 5:53 AM / a year ago

Australian shares end lower after notching 10-year peak; NZ slips

(Updates to close)

Jan 10 (Reuters) - Australian shares struck a 10-year high before ending weaker on Wednesday, snapping a winning streak that had lasted for five consecutive sessions, with declines led by materials and real estate stocks.

The S&P/ASX 200 index peaked at 6,150 points in early trade before closing at 6,096.7, down 39.1 points, or 0.6 percent from Tuesday.

Miners accounted for most of the losses. Rio Tinto eased off its over six-year high to end 0.8 percent in the red while rival BHP Billiton lost 0.3 percent.

The sector was subdued by trends on steel markets in China, where muted demand capped a rise in futures that had been spurred by Beijing tightening rules on new steel production facilities.

Gold miner Newcrest Mining dropped 2.3 percent, in its biggest loss since December 22. Gold prices took a hit as surging U.S. treasury yields and an ongoing rally in equities dulled the precious metal’s safe-haven sheen.

Property stocks also retreated.

Goodman Group Pty Ltd lost its most in over three months while GPT Group slipped 3 percent to its lowest in over two months.

Financial stocks also weakened, with the “Big Four” banks all losing ground, led by Commonwealth Bank of Australia , which shed over 0.7 percent.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index fell 0.8 percent, its biggest drop in over two months, as healthcare stocks lost demand.

Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Corp shed 2.1 percent to strike its lowest in over one month, while Ryman Healthcare Ltd retreated from a record high in the previous session to end down 0.9 percent.

Dairy products maker a2 Milk Co Ltd finished down 2.9 percent and was the biggest drag on the index. (Reporting by Devika Syamnath in Bengaluru; Editing by Simon Cameron-Moore)

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