Australia stocks edge lower ahead of China data «

    Australia stocks edge lower ahead of China data

    Australia stocks meandered lower Monday, with miners among the few gainers ahead of key economic data from China, a critical export market for Australian firms. The S&P/ASX 200 /quotes/zigman/1653884/realtime AU:XJO -0.21% pulled 0.2% lower to 5,297.40, with BlueScope Steel Ltd. /quotes/zigman/304814/realtime AU:BSL -0.52% /quotes/zigman/304813/delayed/quotes/nls/blsff BLSFF -5.19% down 1.4%, grocer Wesfarmers Ltd. /quotes/zigman/181308/realtime AU:WES -0.53% /quotes/zigman/181307/delayed/quotes/nls/wfaff WFAFF +0.26% off 1%, and energy major Woodside Petroleum Ltd. /quotes/zigman/181325/realtime AU:WPL -0.82% /quotes/zigman/181323/delayed/quotes/nls/wopef WOPEF -1.10% down 1.5%. However, gains for gold futures late last week pushed Newcrest Mining Ltd. /quotes/zigman/182419/realtime AU:NCM +5.55% /quotes/zigman/182418/delayed/quotes/nls/ncmgf NCMGF +1.60% up 4.2% and Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. /quotes/zigman/181740/realtime AU:KCN +10.38% /quotes/zigman/181738/delayed/quotes/nls/kskgf KSKGF -0.51% 4.7% higher, while shares of uranium extractor Paladin Energy Ltd. /quotes/zigman/12309/realtime AU:PDN +0.89% /quotes/zigman/12306/delayed/quotes/nls/palaf PALAF +13.06% jumped 12% on news it was selling a 25% in a Nambian mine to a state-owned Chinese firm. The two largest Sydney-listed miners, BHP Billiton Ltd. /quotes/zigman/180893/realtime AU:BHP +0.29% /quotes/zigman/270355/delayed/quotes/nls/bhp BHP +0.24% and Rio Tinto Ltd. /quotes/zigman/176317/realtime AU:RIO +0.26% /quotes/zigman/182541/delayed/quotes/nls/rio RIO +0.27% , also saw gains, rising 0.6% and 0.7%, respectively. Among the Chinese data due out later in the day were gross domestic product for the fourth quarter, and retail sales and industrial output for December.