Australia Markets closed

Aust shares edge lower

The share market has fallen despite making up some of the early losses incurred due to a negative lead from Wall Street.

The US market fell on Friday as investors worried about excessively high valuations for internet and technology stocks, and a US jobs report fell short of expectations.

"We had a fairly bad lead from the US late on Friday," IG market strategist Evan Lucas said.

But he said local stocks managed to recover some of their earlier losses, as strong iron ore prices supported some of the big miners.

BHP Billiton dropped one cent to $37.74, Rio Tinto gained 23 cents to $63.95 and Fortescue Metals edged one cent higher to $5.46.

Gold miner Newcrest also rose, gaining 38 cents to $10.30.

Diversified conglomerate Wesfarmers found some appeal after agreeing to sell the remainder of its insurance division in a deal worth $1.16 billion.

Its shares gained 51 cents to $42.08.

But other consumer stocks fell, including Harvey Norman, down 12 cents to $3.16 and online real estate advertiser REA Group, down $2.53 to $46.20.

Among the big banks, National Australia Bank dropped 20 cents to $35.18, Westpac shed 12 cents to $34.48, Commonwealth Bank eased 12 cents to $76.86, while ANZ added 11 cents to $33.48.

Mr Lucas said the next catalyst for markets could be US company reports, as the quarterly financial reporting season gets underway.


* At the close on Monday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 9.1 points, or 0.17 per cent, at 5,413.7 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 12.5 points, or 0.23 per cent, at 5,416.1 points.

* The June share price index futures contract was 14 points lower at 5,408 points, with 19,234 contracts traded.

* National turnover was 1.33 billion securities worth $2.58 billion.

* The price of gold in Sydney was $US1,299.49 per fine ounce, up $US12.04 on Friday's closing price of $US1,287.45.