Local shares end day's trade down slightly

The Australian share market slipped slightly by close as investors locked in earlier gains.

The All Ordinaries index shed 0.1 per cent to 4,738 and the ASX 200 index was down six points to 4,717.

A 2 per cent jump in iron ore prices did little to excite the local miners.

BHP Billiton lost a third of a per cent to $37.81 and Rio Tinto shed 1.7 per cent, while Fortescue Metals managed a gain of two-thirds of a per cent.

Rare earth miner Lynas was the best performer on the ASX 200, up 14 per cent by the close.

It says it will ramp up production over the next three months and its rare earths will be ready for sale within weeks.

Banking stocks were mixed; the ANZ added 0.6 per cent, Westpac edged up by 0.1 per cent and National Australia Bank was flat.

The Commonwealth Bank shed 1 per cent, retreating from its recent highs to close at $62.60.

The market heavyweight Telstra slipped two-thirds of a per cent to $4.45.

The day's action was confined to Whitehaven Coal, .

Frontline Action on Coal claimed ANZ had pulled $1.2 billion from the Maules Creek project in New South Wales.

The news initially wiped $300 million off the company's value before both the Whitehaven and ANZ confirmed the release was false.

ASIC is investigating the matter to see if a breach of the Corporations Act has occurred.

Whitehaven recovered most of its earlier losses to close down 0.5 per cent to $3.50.

The Australian dollar received a boost from the increase in the spot iron ore price and had traded strongly against the greenback and the Japanese yen.

About 5:20pm (AEDT) it was buying 104.71 US cents, 92.12 Japanese yen, 80.34 euro cents and 65.33 British pence.

Spot gold was up slightly at $US1,661 an ounce, while West Texas crude oil eased to $US92.77 a barrel.

Market Data

  • Currencies
    Currencies
    NamePriceChange% Chg
    0.9328+0.0002+0.02%
    AUDUSD=X
    0.5556+0.0003+0.05%
    AUDGBP=X
    0.6754+0.0002+0.03%
    AUDEUR=X
  • Commodities
    Commodities
    NamePriceChange% Chg