Share market closes weaker after RBA holds interest rates

The share market experienced a day of broad-based losses after the Reserve Bank left interest rates unchanged and worries about global growth came to the fore.

The All Ordinaries index lost 1 per cent to close at 5,044 while the ASX 200 fell by 50 points to 4,993.

Energy shares faced the heaviest selling, after oil prices resumed their slide.

Origin Energy shed 4.8 per cent to $4.01 and oil and gas producer Santos lost 4.3 per cent to $2.92.

The resources sector was also in retreat, after embattled mining giant BHP Billiton's credit rating was downgraded from A+ to A.

Ratings agency Standard and Poor's said the downgrade was due to a weaker outlook for commodity prices.

BHP said it has the strongest rating in the sector and is committed to maintaining a strong balance sheet. Its shares closed down 2.2 per cent at $14.92.

Rio Tinto is also in S&P's sights, with its A- rating being placed on negative watch. The company lost 3.7 per cent to $37.54.

Elsewhere, construction firm CIMIC, formerly known as Leighton Holdings, closed down 3.5 per cent at $23.87.

Its majority shareholder, the German construction company Hochtief, admitted to insider trading before its takeover of Leighton in 2014.

ASIC has launched action in the Federal Court against Hochtief, seeking costs and financial penalties.

The German firm has admitted it breached the Corporations Act by changing the date of share purchases after it found out Leighton's 2013 profit would be at the top end of forecasts.

Hochtief says the breach was "inadvertent".

The dollar dropped after the Reserve Bank's announcement, as observers noted a slightly higher chance of a rate cut later this year.

About 5.00pm (AEDT) it was buying 70.7 US cents, 64.8 euro cents, 85.2 Japanese yen and 49.1 British pence.

Spot gold was higher at $US1,125 an ounce, West Texas crude oil was lower at $US31.57 a barrel and Tapis crude was also lower at $US34.06 a barrel.

Source: ABC News

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