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Australia shares ease as Wall St dips

(Updates to open)

SYDNEY, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares slipped 0.1 percent in early trade on Monday, in line with a dip on Wall Street where a surprise drop in the U.S. unemployment rate was overshadowed by investor concern about the coming earnings season.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index

lost 3.8 points to 4,490.4 by 1117 GMT. The benchmark has run up strongly in recent weeks, adding 0.9 percent on Friday to its highest close since August 2011.

The U.S. unemployment rate unexpectedly fell to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level since President Barack Obama took office, providing a boost to his re-election bid.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

slipped 1.5 points 3,903.4.

(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)

((thuy.ong@thomsonreuters.com)(+61 2 9373 1236)(Reuters Messaging: thuy.ong@thomsonreuters.com))

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