Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.34%

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Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.34%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were lower at the close on Thursday, as losses in the Metals & Mining , Healthcare and Materials sectors propelled shares lower.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.34%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Ardent Leisure Ltd (AX: ALG ), which rose 3.88% or 0.045 points to trade at 1.205 at the close. Seven West Media Ltd (AX: SWM ) added 2.91% or 0.015 points to end at 0.530 and Speedcast International Ltd (AX: SDA ) was up 3.32% or 0.120 points to 3.730 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Orocobre Ltd (AX: ORE ), which lost 4.58% or 0.165 points to trade at 3.435 in late trade. Australian Pharma Industries Ltd (AX: API ) declined 4.69% or 0.073 points to end at 1.472 and Bank Of Queensland Ltd. (AX: BOQ ) shed 4.68% or 0.440 points to 8.970.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones by 610 to 487 and 389 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 down 0.23% to 11.331.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for June delivery was down 0.18% or 2.35 to $1311.55 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.46% or 0.30 to hit $64.31 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.35% or 0.25 to trade at $71.48 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.11% to 0.7162, while AUD/JPY fell 0.05% to 79.55.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.04% at 96.523.

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