Energy, retail experience gains while losses felt across remainder of share market

It was a lacklustre day on the share market, as gains for energy and retail stocks were overshadowed by losses in most other sectors.

Energy shares jumped in early trading, buoyed by an overnight bounce for oil prices, but they lost steam through the day as the oil price eased in Asian trade.

By the close, the All Ordinaries index was 0.1 a per cent lower at 5,211 and the ASX 200 index was seven points lower at 5,150.

Consumer stocks led the way, led by the electrical appliance maker Breville, up 3.5 per cent to $7.93.

Energy stocks were also in demand, after oil prices rose overnight. Santos rose 1.1 per cent to $3.83.

The big four banks were mixed, with ANZ closing 1 cent higher at $25.49, unwinding most of its earlier gains after the credit ratings agency Moody's warned that ASIC's court action over alleged manipulation of a key interest rate was credit negative for the bank.

Moody's said ANZ could face sizeable costs and possible damages from a class action.

The Commonwealth Bank lost 0.05 per cent to $76.14.

In the wake of the CommInsure scandal, it has announced its insurance division will create an independent review panel to review complex claims that are likely to be declined.

It will also appoint an independent expert to review its claims processes.

The dollar jumped above 75 US cents overnight, but slipped after the Reserve Bank of New Zealand announced a surprise cut to its official interest rate, taking it to a record low of 2.25 per cent.

The central bank said the outlook for the global economy had deteriorated since December, due to weaker growth in China and Europe.

Tonight the European Central Bank (ECB) will hold a key meeting where it is expected to cut interest rates further into negative territory.

At about 4:00pm (AEDT), the dollar was buying 74.8 US cents, 85 Japanese yen, 52.6 British pence and 68.1 euro cents.

At the same time, spot gold was lower at $US1,200.50 an ounce.

Oil was lower after overnight gains, with Brent crude down to $US40.91 a barrel.

Source: ABC News

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