Australian shares close lower after eight sessions of gains

The share market has closed lower for the first time in nearly two weeks, bucking global markets after Wall Street touched a record overnight.

Markets at 5.30pm (AEST)

ASX 200 -0.1 pc to 5,451, All Ords -0.1 pc to 5,534

Major gains: Seven West +2.2 pc to $1.14, AGL +2.1 pc to $20.51, JB Hi-Fi +2.1 pc to $24.76

Major losses: South32 -4.6 pc to $1.88, Medibank -3.9 pc to $3.00, Spotless -4.2 pc to $1.25

Futures trade: Euro STOXX 600 -0.4 pc to 336.4, FTSE -0.3 pc to 6,636, S&P 500 -0.2 pc to 2,155

AUD: 75.1 US cents, 56.8 British pence, 79.5 Japanese yen, 67.8 euro cents, $NZ1.068

Mining shares retreated again — Rio Tinto finished down 2.3 per cent at $48.99 after posting an 8 per cent rise in second quarter iron ore production and a 6 per cent rise in exports of the steel making commodity.

Exports were weaker than analysts had forecast.

Among other resources stocks, BHP Billiton lost 1.9 per cent to $19.83.

The big banks were mixed — ANZ fared the best, adding 0.1 per cent to $24.99, while Westpac had the biggest loss, down 0.9 per cent to $30.02.

Despite posting a modest slip, the share market is still hovering around 11-month highs.

Elsewhere, Australia's biggest pizza chain, Domino's Pizza was among the top three performers on the ASX 200, ending 2.7 per cent higher at $71.76.

Dominos' share price was buoyed on news smaller rival Eagle Boys has been placed into voluntary administration.

SV Partners has been appointed administrators of the nearly 30-year-old firm, which is Australia's third biggest pizza chain.

Eagle Boys said all franchisee-run stores would trade as usual during the administration.

In economic news, the minutes of the Reserve Bank's July meeting suggest it could cut interest rates in August if inflation remains very weak.

The RBA said it was prudent to keep the official interest rate at 1.75 per cent in July.

But more information on inflation, the jobs market and the housing market would let the central bank refine its assessment of the economy and cut rates if needed.

Nearly all economists surveyed by Bloomberg are tipping a 25 basis point rate cut next month.

The dollar was already falling before the minutes were released and the statement added to the momentum.

In commodities trade, oil prices are lower with Brent crude buying around $US46.82 a barrel.

Spot gold is slightly higher at around $US1,331 an ounce.

Source: ABC News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *