SYDNEY, AAP – Big losses for the miners were leading the ASX lower prior to Reserve Bank members facing an interesting conundrum at their meeting.
The big three miners were down by between one and three per cent on Tuesday after the iron ore price fell overnight to about $US132 per tonne.
Property and financial shares were the next worst categories and lost more than 0.5 per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 35.7 points, or 0.47 per cent, to 7492.8 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was down by 35 points, or 0.44 per cent, to 7788.8.
Reserve Bank officials are due at 1430 AEST to publish the outcome of their monthly meeting.
While the cash rate is tipped to remain at a record low 0.1 per cent, there is less certainty over the plan for bond purchases.
The RBA has scheduled easing bond buying from $5 billion per week to $4 billion per week from September.
However, millions of people in the ACT, NSW and Victoria continue enduring coronavirus lockdowns that are shrinking the economy.
The weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index – a pointer to future household spending – fell 1.8 per cent.
Analysts have wondered whether the RBA may reverse its bonds decision.
There was no lead from US or Canadian markets, which were closed for public holidays.
European shares closed at near record levels after a surprise rise in German factory orders pointed to improving global demand.
Investors are also focusing on the European Central Bank meeting this week as some policymakers call for it to start paring back bond purchases as inflation surges.
Shares across Asian markets on Tuesday however have had mixed fortunes.
On the ASX, the big miners lagged. BHP dropped 1.49 per cent to $41.56. Fortescue shed almost three per cent to $18.01. Rio Tinto lost two per cent to $108.46.
Meal kit delivery provider Marley Spoon sunk more than eight per cent after Woolworths sold most of its stake.
Woolworths still provides marketing and supply chain support.
Shares in Woolworths were down 0.27 per cent to $40.62.
In banking, NAB fared worst of the big four. Shares were down 1.17 per cent to $28.52. The others were lower by less than one per cent.
Shares in Aussie Broadband were paused from trading prior to what may be a capital raising.
The company has been trying to expand its fibre network into states other than Victoria.
Shares last traded higher by 7.67 per cent to $4.63.
The Australian dollar was buying 74.53 US cents at 1200 AEST, higher than 74.40 US cents at Monday’s close.