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Australia shares snap 12-day winning streak on weak China data
February 9, 2015 / 1:10 AM / 3 years ago

Australia shares snap 12-day winning streak on weak China data

* Shares down 0.5 percent

* Resources, financial lead falls; healthcare, energy gain

* 106 shares down, 82 shares up, 12 unchanged (Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

By Swati Pandey and Gyles Beckford

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, Feb 9(Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.5 percent on Monday, ending a record 12 days of gains, dragged lower by banks and mining stocks following surprisingly weak trade data in China, a key trading partner.

Highlighting deepening weakness in the Chinese economy, trade data released on Sunday showed exports fell 3.3 percent from year-ago levels while imports tumbled 19.9 percent, far worse than analysts had expected.

Investors shrugged off positive domestic jobs data that showed an eighth consecutive rise in job advertising, while local political uncertainty weighed with Prime Minister Tony Abbott surviving a leadership spill challenge.

The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 31.57 points on Monday to 5,788.6 by 0053 GMT. The benchmark ended 0.1 percent higher on Friday to its highest in nearly seven years. The index gained 9.6 percent in last 12 sessions to match the longest winning streak on record seen in 2008.

Concerns about reduced Chinese imports sent major miners BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto down about 1 percent.

Big banks including Commonwealth Bank of Australia and NAB were down 0.9 and 0.7 percent respectively.

Fairfax Media fell as much as 9.3 percent after billionaire Gina Rinehart sold her stake of nearly 15 percent in the company.

Elsewhere, Energy stocks climbed after oil prices jumped on Monday. Woodside Petroleum <WPL.AX, Karoon Gas , LNG were up about 1 percent.

Healthcare shares were also up with surgical glove and condom maker Ansell among biggest percentage gainers on the index after a profit rise.

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealand stocks were a touch softer with the benchmark NZX-50 index 0.2 percent lower at 5784.24, with the market trading sideways ahead of the half year reporting season which starts later this week.

Of the leading stocks, casino operator Sky City, which reports its first half result on Wednesday, was down 1.8 percent at NZ$3.75.

Telecommunications company Spark was down 0.8 percent to NZ$3.46, after hitting a more than seven-year high on Thursday.

Outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu gained 3.6 percent to NZ$1.44, bouncing back from last week’s battering following an earnings’ warning.

Among the falls were power companies Contact Energy and Meridian Energy down 1.1 and 2.8 percent respectively, with brokers saying the strongly performing sector is becoming overvalued. (Editing by Eric Meijer)

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