Wires

Australia shares ease as Wall St dips

(Updates to open)

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

The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index

lost 3.8 points to4,490.4 by 1117 GMT. The benchmark has run up strongly in recentweeks, adding 0.9 percent on Friday to its highest close sinceAugust 2011.

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

New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index

slipped 1.5points 3,903.4.

(Reporting by Thuy Ong; Editing by Richard Pullin)

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

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