Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 1.44%

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Australia shares lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 1.44%
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 declined 1.44%.

The biggest gainers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Cochlear Ltd (AX: COH ), which rose 3.27% or 5.05 points to trade at 159.48 at the close. Aurizon Holdings Ltd (AX: AZJ ) added 1.86% or 0.100 points to end at 5.470 and Flexigroup Ltd (AX: FXL ) was up 1.71% or 0.028 points to 1.637 in late trade.

Biggest losers included Qbe Insurance Group Ltd (AX: QBE ), which lost 10.28% or 1.360 points to trade at 11.870 in late trade. Retail Food Group Ltd (AX: RFG ) declined 10.02% or 0.510 points to end at 4.580 and Western Areas Ltd (AX: WSA ) shed 7.45% or 0.155 points to 1.925.

Declining stocks outnumbered rising ones by 749 to 413 and 411 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 14.03% to 14.443 a new 6-month high.

In commodities trading, Gold Futures for August delivery was up 0.30% or 3.68 to $1247.18 a troy ounce. Meanwhile, Crude oil for delivery in August fell 0.14% or 0.06 to hit $43.45 a barrel, while the August Brent oil contract fell 0.24% or 0.11 to trade at $45.91 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.26% to 0.7561, while AUD/JPY fell 0.45% to 84.10.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.02% at 97.42.

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