Australian Market Slips On Lower Oil, Gold And Base Metal Prices

Australian Market Slips On Lower Oil, Gold And Base Metal Prices

Sydney shares closed in the negative territory on lower oil, gold and base metal prices. Mining stocks declined. The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index slipped 12.8 points or 0.2% to 5,572.0. Out of the 201 stocks traded, 115 stocks declined, 68 advanced and 18 closed flat. Turnover was A$4.03 billion on a volume of 466.65 million shares. The broader All Ordinaries index ended at 5,549.8 after shedding 14.1 points or 0.3%.

The Australian dollar weakened. At 5:00 p.m. the local currency was traded at USD 0.7835-0.7838, down from Thursday’s close of USD 0.7893-0.7903.

Among miners, BHP Billiton fell nearly a percent, Rio Tinto and Iluka Resources lost 1.53% each, Alumina plunged 1.60% and Zinifex dropped 0.29%. Gold mining stocks ended weak with Newcrest Mining tumbling 1.84%, Lihir Gold plunging nearly 3% and Oxiana plummeting 3.62%. In the oil space, Woodside Petroleum fell 1.88% and Oil Search lost 2.40%, but Santos added 0.52%.

Banking stocks also ended weak. National Australian Bank slipped 0.02%, ANZ fell 1.06%, Commonwealth Bank dropped 0.53% and Westpac banking lost 0.87%. However, Macquarie Bank advanced 0.65%. Insurer AMP dropped 0.60%, but IAG surged 2.07%. While Promina gave away nearly a percent, QBE soared 4.58% after it acquired US-based property and casualty insurer Winterthur US Holdings for US$1.16 billion. Henderson Group shed 0.59% and AXA Asia Pacific plunged 1.25%.

In the retail space, Woolworths climbed 0.90%, Coles Group added 0.43% and Harvey Norman Holding gained 0.77%. David Jones fell about a percent. Media Company John Fairfax lost 0.42%, Publishing and Broadcasting gave away 0.25% and Seven Network plummeted 2.61%.

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