Local shares End Marginally Lower

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The Australia share market extended its slide to a second consecutive session today, although the index did finish well off its lows to end only marginally weaker.

“The weakness in U.S. markets overnight was the initial drag,” said Chris Conway, Head of Research at Australian Stock Report.  “Investors are also nervousness about China on the back of the latest inflation data which came in weaker than expected today.”

According to Conway, the strength in consumer staples, materials and the gold sub-sector, wasn’t enough to overcome weakness in financials, consumer discretionary and I.T.

Conway pointed out that three of the big four reported a loss for the day with ANZ Banking Group (ANZ) the only gainer of the lot, putting on 0.7%. Westpac (WBC) was the biggest loser, off 1.3%.

The energy sector closed up 0.1%, despite a further retreat in oil prices overnight. Woodside (WPL) put on 0.6% whilst Origin (ORG) pared losses to end down 0.8%.

Of the big miners, BHP Billiton (BHP) managed to claw its way back into positive territory, adding 0.7% for the day after plunging more than 5% yesterday – its second-worst session in six years. Rio Tinto (RIO) added 0.8% while Fortescue (FMG) was the day’s best, jumping 4.6%.

Gold miners also bounced following yesterday’s rout, with the sector adding 1%; Evolution Mining (EVN) was one of the best, putting on 2%. The ASX 200 closed down a mere 20 points (-0.4%), after being down as much as 73 points – to close at 5099.

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