The Australian share market closed lower, as nervousness about the US economy and the tentative trade stalemate between China and the US weighed on stocks.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 10.8 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 5657.6 on Thursday, while the broader All Ordinaries fell 0.22 per cent after the US markets took the session off to mark the funeral of former US President George Bush Sr.
Wall Street may have taken the day off but domestic and international economics out of the US continues to drag on the local indices, CommSec chief market analyst Steven Daghlian.
“There’s still plenty of concerns for the outlook of the US economy, interest rates in America, and doubts over how close the US and China are to breaching a meaningful trade deal,” he told AAP.
Global miner BHP fell 1.4 per cent to $31.40 and Rio Tinto dropped two per cent to $72.21 after iron ore prices lifted overnight, but copper slumped.
South32 was further in the red, losing 3.4 per cent to $3.12, while Fortescue Metals and BlueScope Steel lost 1.2 and 1.1 per cent respectively.
Northern Star lead the gains for the gold miners, up nearly four per cent to $8.20, as precious metals prices remained buoyant.
The big four banks had mixed results with ANZ suffering the heaviest loss, down 1.9 per cent to $25.67, while Westpac was the only of those lenders in the black, up 0.3 per cent to $25.67.
Bank of Queensland shares were unchanged at $9.77 after announcing its group executive of business, Brendan White, will leave the company to become the chief executive of Cash Converters.
Freedom Insurance Group’s shares nearly halved to 2.6 cents following its announcement it may face a liquidity shortfall in 2019 with $4 million in customer remediations and no new business commissions sending its stock to a fresh low.
Energy shares were also a drag, led by Santos, Beach Energy and Soul Pattinson closing between 0.6 and 1.4 per cent lower.
Supermarket giant Coles, up 2.4 per cent to $12.10, lifted the consumer staples into the black, while rival Woolworths was 0.2 per cent higher at $29.02.
Telco, utilities, property and industrials were the other sectors to close higher.
Meanwhile, October retail spending has beaten market expectations, with the 0.3 per cent monthly rise driven by cash dropped on clothing, footwear and personal accessories, as well as a rise for department stores.
But the Australian dollar slipped for a third straight session over those fears of renewed trade tensions between the US and China.
The Aussie was buying 72.27 US cents at 1630 AEDT from 72.92 on Wednesday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 10.8 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 5657.6
* The All Ordinaries was down 12.4 points, or 0.22 per cent, at 5736.7
* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was down eight points, or 0.14 per cent, at 5655
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 72.27 US cents, from 72.92 US cents cents on Wednesday
* 81.43 Japanese yen, from 82.42
* 63.68 euro cents, from 64.40
* 56.79 British pence, from 57.47
* 105.19 NZ cents, from 105.43
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1239.45 per fine ounce, from $US1235.28 on Wednesday.