(Updates to close)
Feb 14 (Reuters) - Australian shares stepped back slightly to snap a five day winning streak on Tuesday, as earnings worries dragged on consumer and healthcare stocks.
The S&P/ASX 200 index was off 0.1 percent, or 5.488 points, at 5,755.2 by the close of trade. The benchmark ended up 0.7 percent in the previous session.
The healthcare care sector was pressured by a sharp 3.6 percent fall in Cochlear Ltd as its record half year profit was eclipsed by concerns over sales in China.
The firm said the number of implants for young children it sold under Beijing’s national tender scheme fell 35.3 percent compared to the previous year and cut its full-year outlook for those units.
A glass half-empty view also hurt world No. 1 stand-alone wine company, Treasury Wine Estates Ltd, which offered a muted outlook after a strong half year result. Its shares tumbled 4.7 percent, taking down the consumer non-cyclical sector with it.
Both stocks were the worst performers on the benchmark
A rally in basic materials stocks also faded by day’s end with the materials index ending 0.03 percent up.
China’s iron ore futures rose on Tuesday to their highest in more than three years, while copper held on to solid overnight gains amid supply concerns and ahead of testimony from U.S. Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen later in the day
Iron ore miner Fortescue Metals rose 2.6 percent, hitting its highest in more than six years. Rio Tinto tacked on 0.3 percent, its highest close in nearly 3 years.
BHP Billiton, however, ended the day 0.9 percent lower.
New Zealand’s benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index was up 0.22 percent, or 15.39 points, to finish the session at 7,150.89.
Port Tauranga and Metlifecare were the biggest gainers on the index, adding 2.3 percent and 1.7 respectively.
On the downside, NZX Ltd and web advertiser Trade Me Group lost 2.6 percent and 1.7 percent, respectively. (Reporting by Susan Mathew in Bengaluru; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)