The Australian share market has closed lower, dragged down by the financial sector after a correction to banking stocks following the release of the royal commission’s interim report on Friday afternoon.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 35.3 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 6172.3 points on Monday, while the broader All Ordinaries index was 32.9 points, or 0.52 per cent, lower at 6292.6 points.
The local market ended last week higher after banking shares bounced on the less-than-expected fallout from the Hayne royal commission’s interim report, but CommSec chief market analyst Steven Daghlian said most of the gains had been reversed on Monday.
“Last time they had an improvement that was as strong was in late August, so generally the banks haven’t done so well,” he said.
“Quite quickly (after the report was released) we had a bit of a bounce back from the banks and now I think they’ve come back down to where they were before.”
The sector was the biggest drag on the market, down 1.3 per cent.
ANZ recorded the biggest loss, down 1.6 per cent to $27.73, followed by Westpac, down 1.5 per cent to $27.50, Commonwealth Bank, down 1.4 per cent to $70.42, and NAB, down 0.8 per cent to $27.60.
All sectors were down on Monday except health care, with benchmark CSL closing 1.1 per cent higher at $203.31.
Rallies for copper and iron ore prices didn’t translate to gains for the materials sector, with BHP and Rio Tinto both down about 0.1 per cent after confirming mining asset sales last week.
Llithium miner Orocobre, meanwhile, has appointed new chief executive Martin Perez de Solay to focus on the Olaroz joint venture in northern Argentina, and its $US285 million ($A394 million) stage two expansion, increasing production to 45,000 tonnes of lithium carbonate per year.
Orocobre shares were down 0.5 per cent to $4.20.
Nufarm shares fell to their lowest level in more than three-and-a-half years when the company resumed trading following a $283 million capital raising after reporting a $15.6 million full-year loss due to drought-related impairments last week.
It was 8.2 per cent lower at $6.05.
Elsewhere, weaker house prices in Sydney and Melbourne have continued to drag down the national market, with a 0.5 per cent drop in September marking 12 months of consistently falling prices.
Interest rates are expected to remain steady again as the Reserve Bank meets on Tuesday.
The Australian dollar was steady with many states’ business districts closed for a public holiday.
The Aussie was buying 72.13 US cents, down 72.18 US cents on Friday.
ON THE ASX:
* The S&P/ASX200 was down 35.3 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 6172.3 points
* The All Ordinaries was 32.9 points, or 0.52 per cent, lower at 6292.6 points
* In futures trading the SPI200 futures index was up 34 points, or 0.55 per cent, at 6160.0 points at 1630 AEST.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 72.13 US cents, from 72.18 US cents on Friday.
* 82.19 Japanese yen, from 81.89
* 62.21 euro cents, from 61.05
* 55.33 British pence, from 55.20
* 109.09 NZ cents, from 109.19
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEST was $US1188.00 per fine ounce, from $US1182.93 on Friday.