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Australian stocks slip at end of trade, ASX 200 sheds 74pts

Australian stocks slip at end of trade, ASX 200 sheds 74pts

SYDNEY: Australian stocks have tumbled across the board today, with energy and mining shares making the biggest falls.

The All Ordinaries index lost 1.2 per cent to close at 5,816 while the ASX 200 fell by 74 points to finish on 5,846.

Caltex posted the biggest losses on the benchmark index, plunging more than 9 per cent to $34.44 after global energy giant Chevron sold its 50 per cent stake in the firm for $35 a share.

It was the first chance investors had to react to the announcement, which was made after the close of trade on Friday.

Caltex said the sale would not affect its petrol supplies.

Those losses rattled other energy stocks, with Santos tumbling nearly 7 per cent to close on $7.02.

Resources stocks also took a hit after the iron ore price fell to a fresh six-year low of $US53.14 a tonne, now below the break-even price of many of Australia’s smaller iron ore producers.

Fortescue Metals lost 3.75 per cent to $1.92, while BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto posted smaller declines.

There was little reprieve in the financial sector for investors and the Commonwealth Bank and National Australia Bank both lost 1.3 per cent.

However, aviation stocks were boosted by another fall in the OIL PRICE. Qantas added 2 per cent to $3.01 while Virgin Australia gained 3 per cent to 51 cents.