Aust stocks close lower

Local market loses half a per cent on uncertainty over US tapering timeline.

The Australian stock market closed 0.5% lower today after United States Federal Reserve minutes released overnight provided little clarity on plans for tapering quantitative easing.

At 1615 official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 0.48% to 5,075.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 0.46% to 5,066.7 points.

IG analyst Chris Weston said the benchmark fell as far as 1.4% before recovering during the day's trade, helped by a higher than expected print on China's HSBC flash manufacturing purchasing manager's index.

"Buyers have come back into the market on the good China data," Mr Weston said.