Plunging oil, iron ore prices drive losses in energy and mining shares
In a grim day of trade on the share market, plunging prices for oil and iron ore drove savage losses for energy and mining shares.
The All Ordinaries Index lost 0.9 per cent to close at 5,158, while the ASX 200 index lost 47 points to finish at 5,109.
Oil prices have dropped to a near-seven-year low, after oil-producing cartel OPEC failed to cap production at its policy meeting late last week.
Energy stocks dived, with the sector further rocked by news Woodside had abandoned its takeover bid for Oil Search.
Woodside said it would not seek other ways to combine the businesses.
Oil Search had rejected the offer, saying it grossly undervalued the company.
Oil Search shares plunged 16.4 per cent to $6.29, while Woodside closed 4 per cent lower at $26.89.
Elsewhere iron ore is at its lowest price on record, below $US40 a tonne.
That drove more big falls for iron ore miners. Arrium shed 6.5 per cent to close at 6 cents.
BHP Billiton finished down 5.2 per cent at $17.05.
Australia's business confidence rising
NAB's monthly business survey found the mood among Australia's business owners was lifting, with industries sensitive to interest rates and the dollar faring the best.
Business confidence rose by two points to a reading of five in November.
Conditions for firms remain buoyant at a reading of 10.
The dollar has taken a hit as a result of some disappointing trade figures from China.
Customs data showed Chinese exports fell for the fifth month in a row last month, down nearly 7 per cent.
Imports fell by nearly 9 per cent, which was less than expected.
Shortly after 5:00pm AEDT, the dollar was buying 72.2 US cents, 66.6 euro cents, 89 Japanese yen and 48 British pence.
Spot gold was buying $US1,072 an ounce.
West Texas crude tumbled to $US37.59 a barrel and in Singapore, Tapis crude was buying $US41.54 a barrel.
Source: ABC News