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Australian stocks drift lower at noon; S&P 200 sheds 14pts

Australian stocks drift lower at noon; S&P 200 sheds 14pts

PERTH: The Australian stock market drifted into negative territory on Tuesday after opening higher, as investors continued to focus on mixed corporate earnings reports.

In late-morning trades, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index is down 14 points or 0.24 percent to 5,894.00, but off a low of 5,884.80 in early trades. The broader All Ordinaries Index is declining 11.9 points or 0.20 percent to 5,860.50.

In the mining sector, BHP Billiton (BHP) is up 1.7 percent and Fortescue Metals is higher by 1.6 percent, while Rio Tinto (RIO) is declining 1.4 percent.