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Aust stocks finish lower after rate cut

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AAP

2012-12-04

The Australian share market closed more than half a per cent lower after the Reserve Bank of Australia cut the cash rate to three per cent amid a weak global growth outlook.

At the close on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was 27.9 points, or 0.62 per cent, lower at 4,503.6, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 28.2 points, or 0.62 per cent, at 4,511.8.

On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 42 points lower at 4,508, with 22,952 contracts traded.

The Reserve Bank on Tuesday cut the cash rate by 25 basis points to three per cent, a level not seen since the global financial crisis, and said global growth is expected to be below average because of the European debt crisis and the looming US fiscal cliff.

Options Xpress analyst Ben Le Brun said overall it had been a disappointing day.

"When perception gets ahead of reality we start to see some wild fluctuations or some wild price movements, and that's certainly what we saw today," Mr Le Brun said.

All sectors of the market, with the exception of health care turned negative after the interest rate cut and the release of the accompanying statement.

Investors had now priced in some softness ahead of the offshore session.

Making news on Tuesday, the chairman of Premier Investments Solomon Lew told the company's annual general meeting the macroeconomic environment remained challenging.

Premier Investments was down seven cents, or 1.08 per cent, at $6.40.

Gold stocks were weaker, with Newcrest Mining down 46 cents at $24.80.

BHP Billiton was down 28 cents at $34.26, while Rio Tinto was 13 cents lower at $58.67.

In the banking sector, ANZ shares were 10 cents lower at $24.59 while Westpac shares were down 14 cents to $25.42.

National Australia Bank shares fell four cents to $24.25 and Commonwealth Bank shares sank 31 cents to $60.50.

The spot price of gold in Sydney was $US1,701.62 per fine ounce, down $US17.63 from Monday's local close of $US1,719.25 per ounce.

National turnover was 1.2 billion securities worth $3 billion, with 343 stocks up, 614 down and 353 unchanged.