Aust stocks close lower

Local market follows weaker Wall Street leads and falling metal prices.

The local market followed poor performances on Wall Street overnight to close lower today as the Reserve Bank left the door open to further rate cuts.

At 1615 AEST official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 0.67% to 5,078.2 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 0.66% to 5,068.8 points.

CMC Markets analyst Betty Lam said Australian markets followed weaker United States leads, opening the session lower, while the major miners were weighed down by lower metal prices overnight.

Once the Reserve Bank released its August meeting minutes, the market climbed 16 points, then headed lower in afternoon trade, Ms Lam said.

The central bank said it would not close off the possibility of reducing the cash rate further, but had no imminent plans to do so.

"The RBA minutes provided little investors didn’t already know while still sporting a relatively dovish sentiment," Ms Lam said.

Earnings season is still in focus and major miner BHP Billiton was due to report at market close.

"The result for the largest capitalised stock on the Australian market may heavily influence how the local index resumes tomorrow," Ms Lam said.

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