Share market loses ground for fourth straight day on banks losses

The local share market lost ground again for the fourth straight day today with the All Ordinaries Index losing 61 points to finish at 5,178.

The ASX 200 shed slightly more to close at 5,123 and the big banks all dropped back by more than 1 per cent.

Commodity prices are heading even further south, and on top of that the Chinese Government devalued the yuan, taking it a peg lower than everyone was expecting.

There were also rumblings out of North Korea with claims of a hydrogen bomb test, which no-one was expecting.

Further falls in commodity prices weighed on the resources sector — BHP lost $0.43 to $17.15, Rio Tinto lost $1.33 to $42.75, and Iluka shed $0.31 to $5.80.

The Tasmanian iron ore miner, Grange Resources, told the share market today, it may have to lay off workers, due to a drop in demand combined with the plummeting iron ore price.

The firm employs about 750 people in the state's north-west.

However, the share market thought the bad news was good news with Grange Resources stocks lifted 9 per cent on the announcement but the company at 5:00pm AEDT was trading at just under $0.10.

Meanwhile, with the electronics retailer Dick Smith being placed into voluntary administration on Tuesday, and the receivers now say those Christmas gift cards will not be worth anything.

So there are some grumpy Dick Smith customers out there — not to mention the workers and shareholders.

But the company's woes have had flow-on effects for its competitors with JB Hi-Fi shares gaining $0.05 to $21.03.

In commodities, iron ore is trading just above $US42 a tonne, spot gold is trading at $US1,078 an ounce, West Texas intermediate crude is just under $US36 a barrel.

The Australian dollar is buying US71.2 cents.

Source: ABC News

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