Australian market falls ahead of four-day break

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Canberra, April 13 (IANS) The Australian market fell on Thursday ahead of a four-day break for Easter holidays, with political uncertainty and pressure on iron ore prices weighing heavy on the index.

At the close of trade, the S&P/ASX 200 index fell 44.10 or 0.74 per cent at 5,899.90, while the broader All Ordinaries index was down 43.00 points or 0.72 per cent at 5,925.90.

“Perhaps too much is made of geopolitical events, but we are on the eve of a four-day break with the Easter holiday, so investors aren’t sure what going to happen,” Commsec market analyst Tom Piotrowski told Xinhua news agency.

Base metals and material stocks were hit on Thursday, seeing big loses.

“For the month, iron ore prices are down 25 percent and this week they fell 17 per cent,” Piotrowski said.

“Safe havens like gold are definitely being sought.”

In banks, the Commonwealth Bank slid 0.50 per cent, National Australia Bank lost 0.39 per cent, Westpac was down 0.52 per cent and ANZ finished 0.72 per cent lower.

Wesfarmers gained 0.36 per cent, while Woolworths slipped 0.41 per cent.

Mobile phone company Telstra lost 1.42 per cent while flag carrier Qantas was down 1.27 per cent.

–IANS

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