Australia shares slip on mixed unemployment data, healthcare buoys

Reuters - UK Focus

* Market sees impact from Wall Street's slip

* Most sectors trading lower, led by banks

* Ramsay Healthcare rises on French deal (Adds analysis, quotes, stocks on the move)

By Thuy Ong and Gyles Beckford

SYDNEY/WELLINGTON, June 12 (Reuters) - Australian sharesslipped 0.4 percent on Thursday to a one-week low followingfalls in most sectors on Wall Street and mixed employment dataat home.

Australia's unemployment rate remained at 5.8 percent in May- a Reuters poll had forecast 5.9 percent - while the number ofjobs fell 4,800 last month, against an expectation for a gain of10,000.

"Things are perhaps a little bit softer than we hadanticipated heading in," said Tom Kennedy, economist at JPMorgan (Other OTC: MGHL - news) .

Banks dragged on the index with Commonwealth Bank ofAustralia down 0.6 percent, National Australia Bank off 0.5 percent, and Westpac Banking Corp 0.2percent.

The S&P/ASX 200 index dropped 24.3 points to 5,429.7by 0210 GMT. The benchmark slipped 0.3 percent on Wednesday.

U.S. stocks fell overnight, with the Dow breaking afour-day string of record closing highs, following the WorldBank's reduction of its global growth forecast.

"In an ongoing sentiment disconnect with some of the majorglobal indices, which have soared into unchartered territory,our local benchmark has continually stumbled in recentsessions," said Niall King, sales trader at CMC Markets in anote to clients, adding that the commodity slump has piledmisery on resource stocks.

BHP Billiton Ltd slipped 0.3 percent while rivalbluechip Rio Tinto Ltd (Xetra: 855018 - news) skidded 0.7 percent. Iron orefell and stayed close to its weakest level since September 2012at below $100 a tonne as brisk supply and poor demand has cutprices nearly one-third this year.

Among healthcare stocks, Ramsay Healthcare Ltd helped lift the sector, jumping 2.7 percent after Australia'slargest private hospital operator said it will buy a majoritystake in Generale de Sante SA in a deal valuing itsFrench counterpart at 945 million euros. VirtusHealth Ltd added 0.6 percent

Mineral Resource Ltd lost 3.5 percent afterconfirming it acquired a 12.8 percent stake in Aquila Resources (Toronto: AQA.TO - news) Ltd and wants to build and operate Australia's WestPilbara Iron Ore project. Aquila (Paris: FR0010340711 - news) dropped 2.2percent.

Leighton Holdings Ltd rose 0.7 percent afterAustralia's largest construction firm said it is consideringselling its services, property and transport infrastructurebusinesses in a restructure led by its new Spanish owner ACS (Madrid: ACS.MC - news)Actividades de Construccion y Servicios SA.

FSA Group Ltd issued a profit guidance, saying ithas revised its profit after tax guidance up 18 percent to 25percent for FY 2014. Its shares jumped nearly 10 percent to3-month highs of A$1.26.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index edged 0.1 percent higher to 5,184.8.

New Zealand's central bank raised interest rates on Thursdayand said the strength of the currency and data would dictate thepace of future rises as it pointed to a steady but moderatetightening of policy. (Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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