The Australian stock market has closed lower for the first time in six days dragged heavily by financials, but remains on a six-year high comparatively for January.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 31.6 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 5858.8 at 1630 AEDT on Tuesday, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 29.2 points, or 0.49 per cent, lower at 5924.3.
“Even though the market is down January remains on a two-month high and is the best start to a new year since 2013,” CommSec chief market analyst Steven Daghlian told AAP.
“This is partly due to the fact that there are some helpful signs from China and the US where they are trying to get along and resolve trade disputes.”
It comes as the International Monetary Fund revised its global economic growth forecasts for the next two years, warning of continuing trade tensions between the two nations on global growth, and the possibility of a “no-deal” Brexit between the UK and the European Union.
The financial sector was the heaviest weight on the ASX market led by Westpac Banking down by 1.72 per cent to $25.75.
ANZ also fell by 1.45 per cent to $25.81 as did Commonwealth Bank down 1.19 per cent to $72.18 and NAB falling 1.28 per cent to $24.59.
Mining stocks were doing little to ease the pressure with giant BHP dropping by 1.3 per cent to $32.77 after releasing their quarterly update detailing their iron ore output had fallen by nine per cent due to production disruptions.
The world’s biggest miner said on Tuesday that unplanned production outages at Olympic Dam, Spence and Western Australia Iron Ore are likely to negatively affect productivity and flagged that it would revise guidance at its results on February 19.
Rio Tinto retreated 0.62 per cent to $80.01, Newcrest Mining also fell 0.69 per cent to $23.05 and South32 dropped 0.88 per cent to $3.36.
Energy companies were also under pressure at Tuesday’s close led by Oilsearch who also released their quarterly output which fell shorter than what analysts were hoping for.
Oilsearch dropped 2.82 per cent to $7.58 followed by Santos who were down 0.82 per cent to $6.05 and Woodside Petroleum which dropped 0.82 per cent down to $33.66.
Consumer discretionaries were bolstered by Super Retail Group stocks up 2.75 per cent to $7.09 after the promotion of former Boating, Camping and Fishing, Rays, and Macpac manager Anthony Heraghty to chief executive.
Aristocrat Leisure were up by 1.36 per cent to $24.64, while Breville also finished higher at 2.33 per cent to $10.99.
European stock markets were down on the back of the US markets closing for Martin Luther King Jr Day and China reported their slowest economic growth in more than two decades.
The Aussie dollar fell, buying 71.36 US cents from 71.69 US cents on Monday.
ON THE ASX:
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 31.6 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 5858.8 at 1630 AEDT on Tuesday
* The All Ordinaries was down 29.2 points, or 0.49 per cent, lower at 5924.3
* At 1630 AEDT, the SPI200 futures index was down 24 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 5803.0
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 71.36 US cents, from 71.69 on Monday
* 78.08 Japanese yen, from 78.56
* 62.84 euro cents, from 63.02
* 55.44 British pence, from 55.70
* 106.12 NZ cents, from 106.64
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1277.8 per fine ounce, from $US1281.31 on Monday.