Aust stocks close lower

Local market ends week 1.2% lower for on inflation, Chinese manufacturing data.

The Australian sharemarket has closed weaker as disappointing Chinese manufacturing data continued to weigh on global bourses.

At the official market close of 1915 AEDT the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was 0.42% lower at 5,240.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index was 0.4% lower at 5,254.3 points.

IG market strategist Stan Shamu said the ASX 200 closed 1.2% lower for the week, with the disappointing Chinese data accelerating losses in the last two days.

The HSBC purchasing managers' index on Thursday showed Chinese manufacturing activity fell to a six-month low in January, with a reading of 49.6, down from December's 50.5.

However Mr Shamu said a higher-than-expected read in Australia's consumer price index (CPI) – the key inflation measure – had also contributed to the falls.

"Locally the CPI print that we got ruled out the need for an imminent rate cut," Mr Shamu said.

"As a result that might be something that will weigh on equities in the near term as some people were hoping for a cut."

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