SYDNEY, AAP – Shares on the Australian market were a little lower after surging US inflation figures and little progress in Ukraine peace talks dampened sentiment.
The market was down 0.35 per cent on Friday and losses would have been greater if not for the heavyweight miners’ gains.
Most world markets were lower after a 40-year US inflation record for February all but confirmed the US Federal Reserve will raise rates next week.
Commodity prices have surged since Russian troops invaded Ukraine last month and exacerbated inflation. The US annual rate was 7.9 per cent.
Talks between Russian and Ukrainian leaders overnight to stop the war yielded no breakthrough.
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The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 25.1 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 7105.7 points at 1200 AEDT.
The index is down about 500 points from its record high in August last year.
The All Ordinaries index was lower by 26.8 points, or 0.35 per cent, to 7384.3 points.
Technology stocks were down most and lost two per cent.
There were losses of one per cent for consumer discretionaries, healthcare and property.
In stock news, Breville is buying Italian-based coffee equipment maker LELIT for about $169 million.
Breville is paying half the amount in cash and the remainder by stock valued at $27.64 per share.
Breville was down one per cent to $26.50.
Engineering and building group Hochtief has gained 84 per cent of CIMIC through an off-market takeover.
Many investors have taken Hochtief’s offer of $22 per share since the $1.5 billion bid began in February.
If Hochtief gains 100 per cent control, CIMIC will delist from the ASX.
CIMIC was little changed at $22.02.
The big miners helped limit losses. Fortescue gained two per cent to $18.56. BHP and Rio Tinto each gained one per cent to $48.25 and $112.60 respectively.
A smaller player, Nickel Mines, scrapped its share sale to retail investors after company shares fell 28 per cent in the past three days.
Shareholder Tsingshan group has a short position in nickel on the London Metals Exchange and the commodity surged in price earlier this week.
Nickel Mines already raised $148 million from professional investors.
Nickel Mines was up five per cent to $1.29.
There was little movement among the major banks. ANZ and Westpac were best of the group. Each gained half a per cent to $25.92 and $22.78 respectively.
Insurance group PSC is raising $80 million by selling shares so it can keep buying businesses and expand.
Shares will be sold at $4.50 each as PSC examines opportunities in Australian and UK commercial broking businesses.
PSC was down four per cent to $4.62.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.51 US cents at 1200 AEDT, more than the 73.13 US cents at Thursday’s close.