Australia shares slide as oil slumps, investors eye earnings reports

Tue Feb 10, 2015 9:13pm EST
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* Oil down 5 pct, weighs energy stocks

* Investors still taking breather after bull run

* CSL drags broader market (Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, Feb 11 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell for the third straight session on Wednesday as energy stocks led the market lower and investors remained cautious heading into company reporting season.

The S&P/ASX 200 index was down 38 points or 0.7 percent at 5,762.3 points by 0131 GMT.

A muted profit outlook from biopharmaceutical giant CSL sent its shares down sharply, weighing on the benchmark index, while continuing uncertainty about a resolution to the Greek debt crisis contributed to the hesitant tone.

A recent bull run lasting 12 straight sessions, equal to the country's longest ever, also has convinced many investors to take profits, traders said.

"We're not seeing a great deal of commmitment, either from buyers or sellers," said CMC Markets chief strategist Michael McCarthy.

"It looks like a lot of investors are caught between the reasonable results that are coming out in most cases and the high levels that we're seeing for the market overall."   Continued...