(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, Feb 12 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.44 percent on Thursday, their fourth consecutive drop, pushed lower by weakness in banks, resources and consumer staples while muted earnings guidance from major companies dampened sentiment.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 25.5 points to 5,743.6 at the close of trade. The benchmark fell 0.5 percent on Wednesday.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.7 percent or 39.9 points to finish the session at 5,749.32. (Reporting by Swati Pandey)