Aust shares slip as banks, miners retreat
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Australian shares slipped in subdued trading on Monday, as US-China trade tensions kept investors wary and the Aussie dollar came under renewed pressure from local retail data.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index ended the day down 8.6 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 6,310.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 11.3 points, or 0.18 per cent, to 6,416.5 points.
Financial stocks were lower with ANZ leading falls, down one per cent to $29.21 and Bendigo and Adelaide Bank dropping 2.8 per cent to $11.27 after trading ex-dividend.
Suncorp raised mortgage rates on Friday after Westpac led the way earlier in the week but Suncorp shares slipped 0.3 per cent to $15.44.
The Australian dollar, already under pressure after trade talks between Canada and the United States ended on a sour note, fell further on new local retail data.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed retail spending was flat in July, falling short of market expectations and the 0.4 per cent rise recorded in June.
The Aussie dollar was at 71.9 US cents at 1700 AEST, its lowest level since the start of 2017.
Meanwhile, commodity prices faced pressure over renewed trade tensions between the world's two biggest economies, the US and China, which in turn hurt material stocks.
Fortescue Metals fell 4.2 per cent to $3.68 while Rio Tinto and BHP also lost ground.
Northern Star Resources lifted 16.7 per cent to a record high of $8.12 after its shares resumed trading after the gold miner raised the cash to buy the $347 million Pogo underground gold mine in Alaska.
The miner raised its gold output guidance for the 2019 financial year from between 600,000 and 640,000 ounces, to between 850,000 and 900,000 ounces.
In other equities news, shares in takeover target Capilano Honey lifted 0.9 per cent to $21.19 after Bega Cheese lifted its stake in the honey producer.
Capilano last month received a takeover bid from Australian-Chinese private equity fund Wattle Hill.
Bega shares dropped 1.8 per cent to $7.69.
Investors are set for a quiet night with US markets closed for the Labor Day holiday, while locally on Tuesday eyes will be on the Reserve Bank of Australia for its September rates meeting.
On the ASX:
* The S&P/ASX200 closed down 8.6 points, or 0.14 per cent, at 6,310.9 points
* The All Ordinaries was down 11.3 points, or 0.18 per cent, at 6,416.5 points
* In futures trading the SPI200 futures index was down four points, or 0.06 per cent, at 6,300 points at 1630 AEST.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1700 AEST:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 71.9 US cents, from 72.53 US cents on Friday
* 79.75 Japanese yen, from 55.71
* 61.98 euro cents, from 62.10
* 55.66 British pence, from 55.71
* 108.77 NZ cents, from 109.13
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1700 AEST was $US1,199.39 per fine ounce, down from $US1,198.62 per fine ounce on Friday.