ASX flat while Aussie dollar dips

The Australian share market has finished the day flat, while the Aussie dollar dipped to close to a recent 10-year low on weak retail sales figures.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed on Tuesday down six points, or 0.09 per cent, to 6,573.4 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 4 points, or 0.06 per cent, to 6,673.5 points.

"Another quiet session, volumes a little bit lighter than what we've seen the last few weeks," said CommSec market analyst James Tao.

The lacklustre day was to be expected with US traders on vacation for the Labor Day holiday and no news on the US-China trade front, Mr Tao said.

The Aussie dollar, meanwhile, dipped as low as 66.88 US cents after the Australian Bureau of Statistics announced that retail spending fell by an unexpected 0.1 per cent in July.

But it later rebounded from that level - not far from a 10 and a half year low set of 66.77 cents set on August 7 - when the Reserve Bank of Australia announced in the afternoon that it would not to cut the cash rate for another month.

It was buying 67.24 US cents at 1700 AEST, from 67.31 US cents on Monday.

Most sectors of the ASX were subdued, with telecom shares the biggest movers, collectively down 0.6 per cent as Telstra fell 0.8 per cent to $3.61.

Oil Search gained 2.1 per cent to $6.68 despite trading ex-dividend, as it announced the Papua New Guinea cabinet had concluded its review of an important gas royalty deal, the Papua LNG Gas Agreement.

Woolworths, St Barbara and Spark Infrastructure were also all trading ex-dividend.

Afterpay Touch was up 1.8 per cent to $31.93, setting an all-time high for a fourth day in a row.

Fellow tech stock Wisetech Global also set an all-time high of $37.44, up 1.6 per cent.

Ardent Leisure gained 0.5 per cent to $1.025 after denying press reports it was in talks to sell Main Event Entertainment division, its chain of US bowling clubs.

Radio Rentals parent company Thorn Group gained 25.5 per cent to 29.5 cents after settling a class action for $25 million.

Mining stocks were flat, with heavyweight BHP down 0.4 per cent to $36.43; Rio Tinto down 0.8 per cent to $88.15; but South32 up 2.3 per cent to $2.70.

Among the goldminers, Newcrest dropped 0.2 per cent while Evolution fell 0.6 per cent while Northern Star was flat.

The big banks were mixed, with Westpac up 0.4 per cent to $28.34; NAB flat at $27.33; ANZ down 0.1 per cent to $26.68 and Commonwealth down 0.2 per cent to $78.78.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down six points, or 0.09 per cent, to 6,573.4.

* The All Ordinaries closed down four points, or 0.06 per cent, to 6,673.5.

* The SPI200 futures index closed up two points, or 0.03 per cent, to 6,554.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST

One Australian dollar buys:

* 67.25 US cents, from 67.31 US cents on Monday

* 71.41 Japanese yen, from 71.46 yen

* 61.45 euro cents, from 61.28 cents

* 56.10 British pence, from 55.32 pence

* 106.87 NZ cents, from 106.74 cents.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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