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Miners, energy and banks drag shares lower

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Published on: Tuesday, April 18, 2017

The share market has fallen after the heavily weighted mining, energy and banking sectors were sold off amid commodity price falls and global political concerns.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 dropped 0.9 per cent, led by losses from the mining companies after iron ore slumped 3.7 per cent.

"The iron ore and oil prices were the key factors behind the retreat in the materials and energy sectors," Patersons Securities economist Tony Farnham said.

"But there was an expectation the financials might provide an offset but that was quickly laid to rest.

"Investors are being cautious and that ended up being the key driver."

He said tension between the US and North Korea have unsettled investors and dominated market sentiment despite positive leads from Wall Street, including a rally in US banking stocks.

The big four local banks all fell by around 0.75 per cent.

Among the miners, BHP Billiton dropped 1.6 per cent, Rio Tinto shed 1.9 per cent and Fortescue Metals plummeted 7.45 per cent.

Gold producer Newcrest Mining declined 4.6 per cent after it warned its biggest mine was likely to fall short of its production guidance after an earthquake put a halt to operations.

As for the major oil and gas producers, Santos dropped 3.2 per cent, Woodside Petroleum gave up 0.4 per cent and Oil Search slipped two per cent.

Rail freight operator Aurizon fell 1.5 per cent after it flagged an earnings hit of up to $115 million due to damage and lower haulage caused by Cyclone Debbie.

TPG Telecom shares slumped after returning to trade after the internet provider launched a capital raising to help fund its plan for its own mobile network.

Its shares plummeted nearly 16 per cent to $5.50, while rival Telstra continued to fall on the prospect of TPG operating its own mobile network, dropping 3.9 per cent.

The Australian dollar remains at around 75.5 US cents thanks to positive economic news out of China on the weekend.

ON THE ASX:

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 53.2 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 5,836.7 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 57.2 points, or 0.97 per cent, at 5,868.7 points.

* The June SPI200 futures contract was down 24 points, or 0.41 per cent, at 5,828 points.

* National turnover was 2.85 billion securities traded worth $5.68 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST

One Australian dollar buys:

* 75.55 US cents, from 75.81 on Thursday

* 82.42 Japanese yen, from 82.76 yen

* 70.95 euro cents, from 71.16 euro cents

* 60.05 British pence, from 60.42 pence

* 107.76 New Zealand cents, from 108.32 NZ cents

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,282.74 per fine ounce, down $US4.94 from $US1,287.68 on Monday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST:

* CGS 5.25 per cent March 2019, 1.627pct, from 1.626pct on Thursday

* CGS 4.25pct April 2026, 2.437pct, from 2.423pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* June 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.48 (implying a yield of 2.52pct), down from 97.495 (implying a yield of 2.505pct) on Thursday

* June 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.21 (1.79pct), unchanged.

(*Currency closes taken at 1700 AEST previous local session, bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session)


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