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Australia shares end 10-session run of gains, await c.bank meeting
August 5, 2013 / 2:17 AM / 4 years ago

Australia shares end 10-session run of gains, await c.bank meeting

(Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

SYDNEY, Aug 5 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped 0.2 percent in subdued trade on Monday, ending 10 consecutive sessions of gains, as investors maintained their positions ahead of the Reserve Bank of Australia’s monetary policy meeting on Tuesday.

Defensives dragged on the market. Blood products maker CSL Ltd tumbled 1.4 percent while food retailers Woolworths Ltd and Wesfarmers Ltd fell 0.7 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 10.8 points to 5,106.2 by 0147 GMT, after total of 144 million shares had traded hands, The market traded at a daily average of 600 million shares last week.

The benchmark climbed 1.1 percent to close at a 2-1/2 month high on Friday.

“We began July at around 4,700 points so we’re 300 points higher, or 4 percent, we’ve already made a lot of gains,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

“There’s just no impetus today. The big fund managers who determine where the market goes in a long term basis are very much sitting on the sidelines and any potential change in the interest rate environment before they make any moves.”

Markets are currently pricing in a 91 percent chance of a rate cut to a record low of 2.5 percent when Australia’s central bank meets on Tuesday.

The financial sector was also trading lower. Australia and New Zealand Banking Group fell 0.6 percent while top lender Commonwealth Bank of Australia slipped percent.

“There is a sentiment issue [on banks] given the spectacular rise in the last 12 months in banking stocks,” McCarthy said.

The big four banks have posted on average a 20.5 percent gain in share price since the beginning of the year.

Elsewhere, gold miners helped pare losses after bullion rose on Friday. Newcrest Mining Ltd jumped 1.1 percent while Beadell Resources Ltd soared 5.1 percent.

Australian retail turnover for June remained flat according to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Monday.

New Zealand’s benchmark NZX 50 index was trading flat at 4,584.7.

STOCKS ON THE MOVE

* Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd lost 4 percent to A$0.44 after the company said on Monday it expected to report an annual net loss, blaming a difficult business environment and costs including a new ticketing system and carbon tax.

(0150 GMT)

* Paladin Energy Ltd slumped 27.8 percent to A$0.72, a 3-1/2 month low after the company completed a bookbuild for a private placement to institutional and accredited investors to raise gross proceeds of A$88 million. The placement was priced at A$0.70 per share, representing a 30 percent discount to Paladin’s last closing price on the ASX.

(0151 GMT)

* iiNet Ltd lost 1.1 percent to A$6.08 after the internet provider acquired Adam Internet for $60 million.

(0152 GMT)

* White Energy Company Ltd surged 6.5 percent to a 1-1/2 month high of A$0.17 after the resignation of its director John Kinghorn. (Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Eric Meijer)

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