The Australian share market has closed slightly lower, dragged down by losses to the major miners after mixed commodity prices overnight.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 3.2 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 5725.1 on Wednesday, while the broader All Ordinaries lost 0.05 per cent.
The 20 largest companies on the indices suffered the most losses, but outside of this the market generally treaded water as investors await trade discussions between US President Donald Trump and China’s Xi Jinping, Bell Direct equities analyst Julia Lee said.
“We have seen downgraded expectations around the G20 and those talks between China and the US,” she told AAP.
“The best case scenario at the moment is perhaps we won’t see a rise in the tariffs from January.”
The heavyweight resources lost 0.7 per cent sector-wide despite iron ore prices lifting overnight, with copper and gold dipping again
This offset gains to tech, utilities, property and consumer staples.
BHP was down 0.8 per cent to $30.61, Rio Tinto fell 2.2 per cent to $72.00, while BlueScope Steel reversed earlier gains and fell 3.6 per cent to $11.11.
Fortescue Metals, however, bucked the trend and was the stand out performer, climbing 2.3 per cent to $3.94.
Energy stocks were flat with Woodside Petroleum and Oil Search both up 0.3 per cent, while Origin and Caltex both lost 0.9 per cent.
Health care shares eked out a gain, lifted by ResMed closing nearly one per cent higher at $14.55 and benchmark CSL rising 0.2 per cent to $179.78.
The big four lenders were mainly unmoved by the continual grilling at the royal commission, with NAB climbing 0.1 per cent to $24.91, Westpac and ANZ both unchanged at $26.28 and $26.96 respectively, and Commonwealth lost 0.2 per cent to $72.09.
Meanwhile, AMP stocks dropped 3.3 per cent to $2.35 after the wealth manager’s latest update on the scale of its fees-for-no-service problems.
CSR shares reversed earlier losses and climbed two per cent to $3.02 following the announcement of the $155 million sale of its troubled Viridian glass business.
And oOh!media shares spiked 6.7 per cent after reports its street furniture and transport company it recently acquired had won a ten-year contract with the Brisbane City Council.
Soft economic data had a limited impact to the Australian dollar which was holding its ground as investors awaited clarity to emerge on Sino-US trade.
The Aussie was buying 72.33 US cents at 1630 AEDT from 72.34 on Tuesday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 3.2 points, or 0.06 per cent, at 5725.1
* The All Ordinaries was down 2.7 points, or 0.05 per cent, at 5800.1
* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was down 10 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 5724
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 72.33 US cents, from 72.34 US cents cents on Tuesday
* 82.36 Japanese yen, from 82.10
* 64.02 euro cents, from 63.80
* 56.74 British pence, from 56.44
* 106.44 NZ cents, from 106.78
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1214.42 per fine ounce, from $US1222.22 on Tuesday.