The Australian share market has been unable to sustain its early gains, closing down after officials in the US ruled out a return to normalcy until a coronavirus vaccine is found.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index touched a high of 5,423.1, a gain of 2.7 per cent, in the first 10 minutes of trade but ended up finishing Tuesday down 34.5 points, or 0.65 per cent, to at 5,392.2 points.

The All Ordinaries index shed 22.3 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 5,301.3, after going as high as 5,464.2.

The Australian dollar gained against its US counterpart after the Reserve Bank of Australia kept rates on hold at 0.25 per cent.

It was buying 61.62 US cents as the market closed, up from 60.50 US cents at the close of markets on Monday.