Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.77%

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Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.77%
Credit: © Reuters. – Australia equities were lower at the close on Thursday, as losses in the Metals & Mining , Resources and Materials sectors propelled shares lower.

At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 lost 0.77%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Northern Star Resources Ltd (AX: NST ), which rose 7.25% or 0.330 points to trade at 4.880 at the close. Independence Group NL (AX: IGO ) added 3.04% or 0.110 points to end at 3.730 and Westfield Corporation (AX: WFD ) was up 2.64% or 0.240 points to 9.320 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Mineral Resources Ltd (AX: MIN ), which lost 11.37% or 1.315 points to trade at 10.255 in late trade. Bluescope Steel Ltd (AX: BSL ) declined 7.69% or 0.950 points to end at 11.400 and Whitehaven Coal Ltd (AX: WHC ) shed 6.88% or 0.220 points to 2.980.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones by 666 to 457 and 359 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 0.24% to 12.981 a new 1-month high.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for June delivery was up 0.69% or 8.85 to $1286.95 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in May fell 0.11% or 0.06 to hit $53.05 a barrel, while the June Brent oil contract fell 0.04% or 0.02 to trade at $55.84 a barrel.

AUD/USD was up 0.88% to 0.7589, while AUD/JPY rose 0.88% to 82.73.

The US Dollar Index Futures was down 0.05% at 100.01.

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