Aust share market closes 0.15% lower
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The Australian sharemarket has closed slightly lower after investors took a cautious approach ahead of US Federal Reserve and European Central Bank meetings.
At close on Wednesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 6.4 points, or 0.15 per cent, at 4,262.8, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 6.7 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 4,282.7.
On the ASX 24, the September share price index futures contract was down two points at 4,225, with 24,303 contracts traded.
Cameron Securities client adviser Adrian Leppinus said local resource stocks took a fall as investors turned to more defensive stocks.
"It's been a bit of a quieter day trading," he said.
"The market generally speaking has had a pretty good run up and today was just consolidating. The conservative dividend stocks still had a bit of strength though."
Mr Leppinus said he believed the market would remain subdued until the outcome of US Federal Reserve and the European Central Bank meetings on Thursday.
US stocks closed lower and European markets fell into the red as investors and traders began to fret about whether the US and European central banks would fight economic downturns with decisive monetary policies.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed at 13,008.68, down 64.33 points (0.49 per cent).
In local equities news, Country Road has agreed to buy fellow fashion retailer Witchery Australia for $172 million.
Country Road shares were in a trading halt after last trading at $3.24.
Telstra shares were up four cents, or one per cent, to $4.04 after reaching a four-year high earlier in the week.
The big miners and the four major banks were all lower.
BHP Billiton was down 23 cents to $31.70 and Rio Tinto was 33 cents lower at $53.53.
ANZ was down two cents at $23.52, National Australia Bank lost 13 cents to $25.11, Westpac was five cents lower at $23.25 and Commonwealth Bank was 26 cents lower at $57.27.
The price of gold in Sydney closed at $US1617.24 per fine ounce, down $US4.94 from $US1622.18 on Tuesday.
National turnover was 1.505 billion securities worth $3.218 billion, with 363 stocks up, 495 down and 366 unchanged.