Share market closes where it begins as investors worry about US rate hikes

The local share market opened lower today and gained ground, only to end up just about exactly where it began.

The All Ordinaries Index closed 38 points lower at 5,420 and the ASX-200 dropped slightly more to 5,356.

Investors were worried about further rate hikes in the US, making for a mixed session of trading with banking and finance stocks losing ground, but most other sectors making headway.

The Commonwealth Bank lost $1.08 to $77.62, while Westpac lost 21 cents to $29.99, ANZ gained 19 cents to $24.70 and NAB lost 61 cents to $27.52.

Among the big movers, agriculture company Graincrop was the day's best performer, lifting 65 cents to $8.77.

Engineering firm Worley Parsons also did well, gaining 14 cents to $6.09.

The vitamin company Blackmores lost $9.01 to $166.88 while baby food and formula company Bellamy's lost 63 cents to $10.75.

Meanwhile the official wage price index out today showed a fresh record low of 2.1 per cent yearly wage growth, which will feed into the Reserve Bank's next read on inflation.

All eyes are on the unemployment figures out tomorrow.

In commodities, gold was weaker at $US1,272 an ounce, iron ore was higher at $US55.70 a tonne, and West Texas crude oil is also higher at $US48.24 a barrel.

At 5:00pm AEST The Australian dollar was weaker, buying 72.8 US cents.

Source: ABC News

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