Australian shares fell 0.5 %

Monday, 18 April 2011 12:48

Australian shares fell 0.5 % on Thursday to their lowest close in 9 days as major miners came under pressure. Mixed views on the outlook for Australia's commodity exports and the onset of earnings results in the US were limiting trading activity and volumes.

The underlying S&P/ASX 200 index fell 26.8 points to 4,884.2. The index hit a 12-month high of 4,976.4 on Monday, just short of 5,000 after a 9 % gain from March lows.

BHP Billiton fell 1.2 % while Rio Tinto lost 0.7 %. Metal prices have been hurt after Goldman Sachs earlier this week advised its clients to take profits. Investors are concerned rate hikes in China could curb demand for Australian iron ore and copper.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.1 % to 3,454.5.