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Energy, banks lead Aust shares lower

The Australian share market has closed lower with heavy falls by the banks and energy companies leading the way amid widespread selling.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index has finished 0.61 per cent lower at 5,688.1 points with the telecommunications the only sector up.

The major energy players suffered sharp falls following a 2.5 per cent drop in oil prices on Friday after to a consultancy report forecast a rise in OPEC production for July.

Macquarie Private Wealth division director Lucinda Chan said Friday's retreat - an energy-and-banks-led 0.7 per cent drop on the S&P/ASX200 - had continued and Monday's drop on Asian equity markets also added to the risk-off mood.

"The weaker US dollar has contributed to commodity prices being much weaker and that's causing a sell-off in energy and materials," she said.

"The banks are weaker, continuing on from Friday's sell-off, while the telcos and gold miners are the best of the bad bunch."

Among the best performers, Telstra gained 0.7 per cent to $4.13 and TPG rose nearly two per cent to $5.82.

Australia's largest gold miner, Newcrest Mining added almost one per cent $19.76 as it posted a 2.4 per cent drop in full-year gold production.

Among the oil and gas producers, Woodside Petroleum fell three per cent to $28.57, Santos dropped 2.2 per cent to $3.19 and Oil Search declined two per cent to $6.51.

The major miners were also lower due to a drop in iron ore prices to $US68 a tonne following more than a week of gains.

BHP Billiton was off 0.4 per cent to $24.40, Rio Tinto shed 0.7 per cent to $62.62 and Fortescue Metals fell 1.4 per cent to $4.99.

Losses by the big four banks ranged from ANZ's 0.7 per cent fall to one per cent for National Australia Bank.

Westpac announced it has started discussions with property giant Charter Hall Group over the sale of its infrastructure investment business, Hastings Management.

The Australian dollar continues to rise amid ongoing US dollar weakness.

The local currency was trading at 79.22 US cents at 1630 AEST on Monday, up from 79.07 on Friday.

ON THE ASX ON MONDAY:

* At the close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 was down 34.7 points, or 0.61 per cent, at 5,688.1 points.

* The broader All Ordinaries index was down 33.2 points, or 0.58 per cent, at 5,738 points.

* The September SPI200 futures contract was down 36 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 5,628 points.

* National turnover was 2.1 billion securities traded worth $4.5 billion.

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST

CURRENCY ASK BID PREVIOUS

AUD/USD 0.7929 0.7927 0.7911

AUD/JPY 88.09 88.04 87.84

AUD/EUR 0.681 0.6806 0.6775

AUD/NZD 1.0672 1.0666 1.0599

AUD/GBP 0.6104 0.61 0.6085

GOLD

The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,252.21 per fine ounce, from $US1,247.16 per fine ounce on Friday.

BOND SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEST

* CGS 4.50 per cent April 2020, 1.8955pct, from 1.9039pct on Friday

* CGS 4.75pct April 2027, 2.6268pct, from 2.6474pct

Sydney Futures Exchange prices:

* August 2017 10-year bond futures contract at 97.32 (implying a yield of 2.68pct), from 97.30 (2.70pct) on Friday

* August 2017 3-year bond futures contract at 98.00 (2.00pct), unchanged.

(*Bond market closes taken at 1630 AEST previous local session)

Austrlaian Associated PressBack to Breaking News

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