Shares lower as unrest continues
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.