The ASX failed to draw much inspiration from Wall Street’s rebound overnight to fall for the fourth consecutive day.
The benchmark ASX200 dropped another 0.2 per cent to 5727, while the broader All Ordinaries fared marginally better, down 0.1 per cent to 5769.
Over the week the market slid close to 2 per cent.
A stronger session from the miners did not manage to dig the market out its hole.
Rio Tinto rose 2.3 per cent to $63.25, BHP Billiton was up 1.4 per cent to $24.28, while Fortescue — still basking in the glory of being named Platts’ global metals company of the year — jumped 5.6 per cent to $5.24.
The other end of the ASX’s so-called barbell, the banks, tilted heavily towards the floor.
ANZ was down 1.9 per cent to $28.50 and Westpac fell 1 per cent to $30.85, its lowest point since early November.
Among the retailers Woolworths and Wesfarmers were down 1.1 per cent ($25.85) and 0.9 per cent respectively ($43.01).
JB Hi Fi was one of the few in the sector that ushered more buyers through the door, rising 1.7 per cent to $23.27.
Energy stocks largely ignored the rise in oil price overnight with Oil Search down 1.5 per cent, perhaps on comments from the AGM that it was well prepared to endure lower prices — a sentiment maybe not shared by its investors.
Origin Energy was down 1.8 per cent to $7.59, despite selling its Darling Downs gas pipeline and taking its recent assets sale program to $1 billion.
Yesterday’s big loser, the prospective cancer treatment firm Sirtex, clawed back some ground up 9.5 per cent to $11.77, but still down more than 60 per cent on a year ago.
The Australian dollar was slightly stronger buying 74.26 US cents at 4:15pm (AEST).