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Australian stocks end 1.04% lower, S&P 200 slips 57.2pts

Australian stocks end 1.04% lower, S&P 200 slips 57.2pts

SYDNEY: The Australian stocks ended 1.04 per cent lower, as contradictory signals from world markets among weakening service prices and a new bout of uncertainty in Greece.
At the official 4.15pm (AEDT) market close, the benchmark S & P/ASX200 index was down 57.2 points, or 1.04 per cent, to close at 5,416.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 54.7 points, or 1 per cent, to close at 5,392.3 points.
In an investor note, CMC Markets sales trader Tony Kwok said higher iron ore and copper prices, coupled with lower gold and oil prices, had confounded investors and increased uncertainty, leading to a sell-off.
Energy stocks led the losses, with Santos giving up 3.07 per cent to $8.20 and Woodside Petroleum losing 1.43 per cent per cent to $38.03.
Mr Kwok said that healthcare stocks also weighed “as profit takers move in on one of the best performing sectors in the market this year”.
“Investors locked in profits in heavyweights CSL and Cochlear after both stocks hit their 52 week intraday highs shortly after the open this morning,” he said.
Healthcare stocks lost 1.85 per cent as a sector. Cochlear lost 1.77 per cent to close at $77.50, while Sonic Healthcare’s share price sank by 1.55 per cent to $18.46. It was a similar story for CSL, which lost 1.98 per cent to $87.11, and Ramsay Health Care, which gave up 2.52 per cent to $56.82.
Elsewhere, materials also lost ground, retreating 0.95 per cent. Rio Tinto gave up 0.84 per cent to $57.56 while BHP Billiton lost 0.71 per cent to $29.48. Mineral exploration company Boart Longyear’s share price climbed 6.45 per cent to 16c.
Financial stocks ended the day in negative territory, losing 0.76 per cent, with ANZ slipping 0.59 per cent to $32.04 and Commowealth Bank losing 0.55 per cent to $85.58. NAB gave up 0.42 per cent to $33.53 and Westpac shed 0.42 per cent to $33.20.
It was an equally unimpressive day for consumer discretionaries, which lost 1.64 per cent. Myer retreated 3.73 per cent to close at $1.42.
Consumer staples Woolworths and Wesfarmers were also in the red, losing 1.7 per cent and 0.99 per cent respectively.
Property stocks also performed poorly. Goodman Group lost 3.48 per cent to $5.82, GPT gave up 1.55 per cent to $4.45 and Dexus lost 2.05 per cent to $7.16.
Telstra lost 0.66 per cent.