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Trade war worries weigh on Aust shares

The Australian share market has snapped its three-day winning streak to close lower amid global trade war concerns after US President Donald Trump threatened more tariffs on Chinese imports.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended down 58.3 points, or 0.93 per cent, at 6,277.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was 57.3 points, or 0.9 per cent, lower at 6,320.1 points.

Mr Trump said on Friday he was ready to impose tariffs on all $500 billion of imported goods from China, as a trade dispute between the world's two biggest economies shows no signs of abating.

Christopher Conway, head of research and trading at Australian Stock Report said that the market has been on a good run of late, "so it is not surprising that when we see some negative leads and sentiment from offshore that our entire market pulls backward a little bit".

Shaw and Partners senior investment adviser Craig Sidney said the local market was not looking cheap compared to recent falls in Asia.

"Our market has been holding up relatively well compared to Asian markets," he said.

"We're just having a bit of a breather."

In companies news, Wesfarmers slipped 1.3 per cent to $49.35 as it announced it will keep a 15 per cent stake in Coles when it spins off the supermarket chain in November.

Global miner BHP suffered a 1.4 per cent loss to close at $32.45 after it confirmed that it had been served with a class action lawsuit regarding the 2015 Samarco dam failure in Brazil.

Last week, BHP said it expected a $650 million charge in its fiscal 2018 results on account of the failure.

The mining index fell 0.9 per cent, as commodity prices remained pressured by global trade tensions.

Financials were the biggest drag, with the main financial index and Westpac both down 0.9 per cent.

The bank had earlier announced that its wealth management unit, BT Financial Group, cut prices of its flagship platform at a time when its peers have retreated from their wealth businesses.

Gold stocks retreated from morning gains as an uptick in gold prices paused near their highest since July 17.

The yellow metal's earlier gains, supported by an easing US dollar following Trump's criticism of the Federal Reserve's interest rate hikes, lifted the gold index over half a per cent.

But it receded 0.3 per cent by the close for its seventh straight session of losses, with Newcrest Mining down 0.7 per cent at $19.96.

The Australian dollar was at 74.16 US cents at 1700 AEST, from 73.71 US cents on Friday.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index closed down 58.3 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 6,227.6 points

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 57.3 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 6,320.1 points

* The SPI200 futures contract was down 57 points, or 0.9 per cent, at 6,168 points

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:

One Australian dollar buys:

* 74.16 US cents, from 73.71 US cents on Friday

* 82.345 Japanese yen, from 82.81

* 63.29 euro cents, from 63.23

* 56.46 British pence, from 56.59

* 108.92 NZ cents, from 109.06

GOLD:

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,229.391 per fine ounce, from $US1,224.36 per fine ounce on Friday.

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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