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Australia shares slip from 6-yr peak; Coca-Cola fizzles on profit warning
April 11, 2014 / 2:54 AM / 4 years ago

Australia shares slip from 6-yr peak; Coca-Cola fizzles on profit warning

* Heavyweight banks, miners drag down main index

* Echo Entertainment outperforms on stronger revenue

* S&P/ASX 200 set to eke out 0.2 pct weekly gain (Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

SYDNEY, April 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell almost 1 percent on Friday, retreating from a near six-year high after a selloff on Wall Street hit market sentiment, while Coca-Cola Amatil Ltd sank to a 4-1/2-year low after the beverage firm issued a profit warning.

On Thursday, the U.S. Nasdaq suffered its biggest drop in 2-1/2 years, raising fears of a broader market pullback. That hit investor confidence in Sydney and triggered broad-based selling in shares including banks and miners.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 0.9 percent or 48.6 points at 5,432.2 as of 0247 GMT. On Thursday, the benchmark had risen 0.3 percent and touched a session high of 5,503.5, its highest since June 2008.

At its current level, the index is poised to gain 0.2 percent on the week.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia lost 0.8 percent and Westpac Banking Corp fell 0.7 percent. Index heavyweight miners BHP Billiton Ltd and Rio Tinto Ltd lost 0.6 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively.

“I think our clients are really shorting mining stocks at the moment, that seems to be how they seem to be playing the market,” said Daniel Wypler, senior market maker at City Index in Sydney.

Wypler added that investors were taking a wait-and-see stance towards banks, eyeing macro data and the Reserve Bank of Australia’s policy setting meetings over the next few months.

Coca-Cola Amatil dived 14.4 percent to A$9.76, its lowest since October 2009. The bottler said it expects its earnings to fall around 15 percent in the first half of 2014 because of weak spending in Australia and rising costs in Indonesia.

Some stocks bucked the downdraft on upbeat cues.

Echo Entertainment Group soared 11.8 percent to a one-month high of A$2.70 after the casino operator said stronger gaming revenue had boosted third-quarter earnings, and named a new chief executive.

Padbury Mining Ltd rocketed 75 percent to a three-year peak of A$0.04 after saying it had secured almost $6.5 billion in funding to build a new port and associated railway at Oakajee in Western Australia.

Elsewhere, trading in shares of Bank of Queensland Ltd was suspended after it said it would buy Investec Bank (Australia) Ltd’s business finance and asset leasing unit for A$440 million.

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index slipped 0.3 percent to 5,099.5. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Chris Gallagher)

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