(Updates to close)
SYDNEY, March 13 (Reuters) - Australian shares closed 0.5 percent lower on Wednesday as investors took profits in a recent rally in the financial sector, but gains in mining stocks helped contain the weakness.
Westpac Banking Corp, Australia's third-largest lender by assets, posted the biggest loss among its "Big Four" peers, dropping 2.1 percent.
The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 25.5 points to 5,092.4, according to the latest data. It fell 0.6 percent on Tuesday.
New Zealand's benchmark NZX 50 index fell 0.9 percent to 4,341.1.
(Reporting by Maggie Lu Yueyang; Editing by Sanjeev Miglani)