October 23, 2012 / 11:32 PM / 5 years ago

Australia shares drop to one-week low as metal prices fall

MELBOURNE, Oct 24 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.9
percent to their lowest in a week on Wednesday, with miners and
banks leading losses after copper prices hit their lowest since
early September and other metals also plumbed one-month lows.
    The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index fell 41 points to
4,501.7 by 2320 GMT, its lowest since Oct. 17. 
    New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.5
percent to 3,983.8, retreating from a 4-1/2 year closing high of
4,004.26 hit on Tuesday.
    The HSBC Flash China manufacturing PMI is due on Wednesday,
and signs of a further slowdown in the world's No. 2 economy
would raise concerns about slowing demand for Australian
resource exports.
    Australian inflation data is due at 0030 GMT. A benign
result would increase expectations of another interest rate cut
next month.

 (Reporting by Miranda Maxwell; Editing by Edwina Gibbs)

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