Aust share market closes lower

The Australian share market has closed lower as investors continue to ponder the possibility of another cut to local interest rates and await the federal election vote on July 2.

IG market strategist Evan Lucas said on Tuesday that although the Australian market was weaker, it had been outperforming US markets in recent weeks.

Mr Lucas can't see the local bourse going higher to breach 5,400 points unless there is another cut to interest rates, or until the federal election is over.

"You've got to ask what is the justification to see another leg higher?" Mr Lucas said.

The banks were not providing any drive at the moment, and weak prices for iron ore and oil were holding back resources and energy stocks, he said.

Mr Lucas also said that since 2001, the market usually went through a lull during federal elections, but picked up once the vote was over because a sense of certainty returned.

Among the banks, Commonwealth Bank fell 40 cents to $77.56, Westpac retreated 12 cents to $29.78, ANZ dumped 17 cents to $24.78, and National Australia Bank dropped 17 cents to $26.97.

In the resources sector, global miner BHP Billiton nudged up one cent to $18.38, Rio Tinto firmed 20 cents to $44.20, and Fortescue Metals gave away six cents at $2.85.

Oil and gas producer Woodside Petroleum backtracked 34 cents to $26.45, and Santos fell eight cents to $4.17.

Blood products and vaccines company CSL added nine cents to $113.26 after it received US regulatory approval for a formulation of its Flucelvax Quadrivalent influenza vaccine.


* On Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was down 23.3 points, or 0.44 per cent, at 5,295.6 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 23 points, or 0.43 per cent, at 5,361.9 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was down 40 points at 5,296 points, with 25,533 contracts traded.

* The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,242.80 per fine ounce, down $US8.53 from $US1,251.33 on Monday.

* National turnover was 2.16 billion securities traded, worth $4.05 billion.

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