Shares lower as un­rest con­tin­ues

Townsville Bulletin - - Investor -

THE Aus­tralian share mar­ket closed lower as ten­sions in the Mid­dle East con­tin­ued to rat­tle mar­kets and spike up oil prices.

The bench­mark S&P / ASX200 in­dex fell 23.2 points, or .48 per cent, to 4803.2 points, while the broader All Or­di­nar­ies in­dex was down 22.1 points, or .45 per cent at 4898.3.

IG Mar­kets strate­gist Ben Pot­ter said on­go­ing ten­sions in the Mid­dle East had seen oil prices sky­rocket, with in­vestors mov­ing money out of eq­ui­ties into cash.

‘‘ It was a rea­son­ably bleak day, ob­vi­ously the lead from overnight mar­kets was pretty poor, with US mar­kets down,’’ he said.

‘‘ All these ten­sions in the Mid­dle East have kicked off again with Iran and Bahrain. It cer­tainly has rat­tled mar­kets with oil prices trad­ing higher and also gold and ot her pre­cious met­als – t hat’s see­ing peo­ple sell eq­ui­ties.’’

Mr Pot­ter said across the board the Aus­tralian share mar­ket fin­ished weaker.

‘‘ Most sec­tors in Aus­tralia have been pretty down, ma­te­ri­als and in­dus­tri­als . . . some of the re­tail­ers are not do­ing so well,’’ he said. ‘‘ The only sec­tors in pos­i­tive ter­ri­tory are de­fen­sive stocks like health care, which do well in volatile times like this.’’

Na­tional turnover was 3.81 bil­lion shares worth $ 6.21 bil­lion.

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