Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.58%

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Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.58%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were lower at the close on Friday, as losses in the Consumer Staples , Financials and Energy sectors propelled shares lower.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.58%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were St Barbara Ltd (AX: SBM ), which rose 10.57% or 0.195 points to trade at 2.040 at the close. Resolute Mining Ltd (AX: RSG ) added 10.17% or 0.120 points to end at 1.300 and Evolution Mining Ltd (AX: EVN ) was up 9.84% or 0.190 points to 2.120 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd (AX: FPH ), which lost 2.38% or 0.200 points to trade at 8.190 in late trade. Western Areas Ltd (AX: WSA ) declined 2.23% or 0.070 points to end at 3.070 and Blackmores Ltd (AX: BKL ) shed 2.17% or 2.290 points to 103.360.

Advancing stocks outnumbered falling ones by 503 to 368 and 295 ended unchanged on the Sydney Stock Exchange.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX , which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 4.92% to 12.762.

In commodities trading, Gold for February delivery was up 0.26% or 3.05 to $1161.15 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in February rose 0.33% or 0.18 to hit $53.95 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract rose 0.39% or 0.22 to trade at $57.07 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.18% to 0.7234, while AUD/JPY rose 0.38% to 84.48.

The US Dollar Index was down 0.22% at 102.43.

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