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Australian shares fall on Wall St, mining and commodities soft

SYDNEY, Oct 8 (Reuters) - Australian shares fell 0.3 percent, ending seven straight sessions of gains, dragged down by resource sectors as investors worried that the coming U.S. earnings season will feature weaker results.

Monday's softer tone was in line with Friday's mixed close on Wall Street where a surprise drop in the U.S. unemployment rate was overshadowed by concerns about the earnings season.

Mining giants BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto

lost 0.2 percent and 0.3 percent respectively.

Among the commodities, gold miner Newcrest

dropped

3.2 percent, while Woodside Petroleum

lost 0.5 percent.

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index

closed 12.5 points lower to 4,481.9. The benchmark rose 0.9 percent on Friday to its highest close since August 2011.

"We had an adverse reaction by commodity prices to the U.S. jobs report on Friday," said Tim Waterer, senior trader at CMC Markets.

"A lot of the momentum that was with U.S. equities dried up and that hasn't carried forward into our market this week, and that's why we're seeing a moderately negative performance today," he said.

Banks were mostly soft, with the Commonwealth Bank of Australia leading losses, falling 0.5 percent. Australia and New Zealand Banking Corp

bucked the trend, inching up 0.1 percent.

Defensive stocks helped pare the market's losses, with blood products maker CSL

up 0.5 percent and supermarket retailer Woolworths rising 0.4 percent.

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

rose 0.5 percent or 19.1 points to 3,923.9.

(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Borsuk)

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

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