Australian shares have closed lower on Tuesday, with a sharp decline in global oil prices sending energy stocks down and weak commodities prices putting pressure on the broader market.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 37.9 points, or 0.61 per cent, at 6,203.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries fell 38.3 points, or 0.61 per cent, to 6,288.4 points.
In futures trading, the SPI200 futures contract was down 34 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 6,158 points at 1630 AEST.
The Australian energy index closed 2.2 per cent lower at its lowest level in nearly a month, after oil prices tumbled more than four per cent overnight as Libyan ports reopened and traders eyed supply increases by Russia and other producers.
Oil prices attempted a slight recovery in early Asian trade but not enough to sway investors as prices took a dip soon after, furthering losses among energy stocks.
Woodside Petroleum was the biggest drag on the energy index, falling 2.4 per cent to $34.73, while Origin Energy and Oil Search fell 2.1 per cent and 2.8 per cent, to $9.41 and $8.80 respectively.
Oil Search investors were doubly hit on Tuesday with both the oil price slump and a reported 18 per cent decline in first half revenue hitting the stock.
Weaker commodity prices added to market woes, and hit miners, with the main mining index down 1.4 per cent.
Global miner Rio Tinto slipped 0.3 per cent to $79.16, as prices overshadowed a jump in iron ore output shipments from Australia and expectations of a stronger 2018 performance.
“The Rio result wasn’t too bad, but when you see copper and lead prices down they get a wash down from those negative price moves,” said James McGlew, executive director of corporate stockbroking at Argonaut.
Concerns over signs of softening in the Chinese economy – Australia’s biggest export market – also dented sentiment after data showed second quarter economic growth expanded at a slower pace with June industrial output growth the weakest in over two years.
The Australian dollar was at 74.34 US cents at 1630 AEST, from 74.36 US cents on Monday.
ON THE ASX
* The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 37.9 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 6,203.6 points
* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 38.3 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 6,288.4 points
* The SPI200 futures contract was down 34 points, or 0.6 per cent, at 6,158 points at 1630 AEST
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 74.31 US cents, from 74.36 US cents on Monday
* 83.498 Japanese yen, from 83.56
* 63.32 euro cents, from 63.58
* 56.05 British pence, from 56.14
* 108.86 NZ cents, from 109.69
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,242.87 per fine ounce, from $US1,243.95 per fine ounce on Monday.