Aug 17 (Reuters) - Australian shares were flat in choppy
trade on Wednesday, as a sharp drop in biomedical giant CSL Ltd
after it posted lower annual profit was offset by gains in
The S&P/ASX 200 index was up 0.03% by 0025 GMT.
The benchmark shuffled between the positive and negative
territory in early trade, reflecting cautious investor sentiment
ahead of the release of July employment report on Thursday.
Market attention was however fixed on the ongoing corporate
CSL plunged up to 6% at open before paring some
losses to trade 3.3% lower, after it disappointed market with a
lower annual profit.
This weighed on the health sub-index, down as much
as 4% to its lowest levels in more than a month.
Aussie miners, on the other hand, rose as much as
1.2%, helping offset the drag from CSL, with major miners Rio
Tinto and BHP Group gaining more than 1.2%,
The industrials sector outperformed with a 1% jump,
helped by gains in Fletcher Building and pallets maker
Brambles on upbeat earnings.
A decline in crude oil prices drove a 0.7% drop in the
energy sub-index. Energy producer Santos shed
1.4%, even as its interim profit grew four-folds.
In New Zealand, investors await the central bank's policy
meeting later in the day, where it is widely expected to hike
rates by another half-point to contain runaway inflation.
The country's benchmark S&P/NZX 50 index reversed
gains to fall 0.2%.
Elsewhere in Asia, Japan's Nikkei was up 0.85% and
the S&P 500 E-minis futures were down 0.04%.
(Reporting by Savyata Mishra in Bengaluru; Editing by Rashmi