Despite a positive start on the back of gains on European and US markets overnight, the local bourse was sold off today following chatter from two US Federal Reserve Presidents that the stimulus which has been supporting the US economy since the GFC could be wound back this year.
A woman looks at an electronic stock quotation board in Tokyo.
After reaching a high of 5019 points in early trade the All Ords closed down 29.1pts to 4966.4.
Mining stocks did most of the damage, and there was particular weakness amongst gold stocks after the gold price plummeted on the back of the Fed comments. Shares in Newcrest Mining (NCM) fell 3% to $19.50.
Oil and gas producer Santos (STO) underperformed after ratings agency Standard & Poor's said it now considers one of its financial instruments as debt rather than equity. STO shares closed lower by 2.1% to $12.11
Shares in surf-wear retailer Billabong (BBG) remained in a trading halt as it continues talks with two potential take-over suitors that had offered $1.10 per share for the company. BBG was last at 73c with most in the market predicting the bids will either be withdrawn or siginifcantly lowered.
In economic data today, new home sales fell by 5.3% in February, the first fall in five months.
The trade deficit narrowed from $1,215 million to $178 million in February, the smallest deficit in 14 months.
On the market overall, a total of $1.99 billion shares were traded, worth $5.84 billion. 335 were up, 658 were down and 368 were unchanged.
At 5pm AEDT the SFE 200 Futures market was at 4957, up 3pts.
The Australian dollar was worth US104.58c, £0.6932 and €81.73c.
[Kick off your trading day with our newsletter]
More from IBT Markets:
Follow us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Subscribe to get this delivered to your inbox daily
Follow us on LinkedIn