Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 1.56%

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Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 1.56%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were lower at the close on Wednesday, as losses in the Metals & Mining , Resources and Materials sectors propelled shares lower.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 1.56% to hit a new 1-month low.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Sky Network Television Ltd. (AX: SKT ), which rose 4.21% or 0.135 points to trade at 3.345 at the close. Premier Investments Ltd (AX: PMV ) added 4.13% or 0.570 points to end at 14.360 and Nufarm Ltd (AX: NUF ) was up 3.52% or 0.330 points to 9.700 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (AX: FMG ), which lost 5.44% or 0.360 points to trade at 6.260 in late trade. Bluescope Steel Ltd (AX: BSL ) declined 4.54% or 0.590 points to end at 12.410 and Monadelphous Group Ltd (AX: MND ) shed 4.26% or 0.550 points to 12.370.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones by 771 to 343 and 324 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 21.22% to 12.386.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for April delivery was down 0.12% or 1.45 to $1245.05 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.41% or 0.20 to hit $48.04 a barrel, while the May Brent oil contract fell 0.39% or 0.20 to trade at $50.76 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.29% to 0.7669, while AUD/JPY fell 0.36% to 85.61.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.06% at 99.61.

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