ASX has finished in the red for the first time in 2017, due to falls in big banks, unstable oil prices and decline in investor confidence.
While brent crude strengthened by the end of the trading session to $US55.05 a barrel, fears that the OPEC-led deal to cut production might not be implemented properly by its participants diminished investor confidence.
The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 Index and the All Ordinaries Index each dropped 0.8 per cent to 5760.7 points and 5813 points respectively. Investors sold out of every sector, with banking receiving the most impact. Commonwealth Bank of Australia fell 0.5 per cent, as Westpac declined by 0.8 per cent. National Australia Bank was down 1.2 per cent and ANZ Banking Group dipped 1.5 per cent.
The US dollar also weakened as the post-election euphoria winded out. “The US dollar appears to have entered a consolidation phase since last week after a period of market optimism associated with prospective Trump policies,” NAB economist Vyanne Lai said. As a result, the Australian dollar rose 0.6 per cent to US73.72¢.