Aust stocks close lower

Local market closes weaker as investors wait for the federal budget.

The Australian sharemarket was weaker at the close as investors wait to see how the market responds to next week’s federal budget. 

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 16 points, or 0.29%, to 5,460.8 points,, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 13.8 points, or 0.25%, to 5,441.8 points

Bill Keenan, General Manager of Equities Research at Lonsec, says while the budget will be front of mind for most investors, bank shares may also weigh on the market as NAB and Westpac follow ANZ to go ex-dividend.

“Some sectors like healthcare and a few others might come under particular pressure," Mr Keenan said in participation of the budget.

"We’re a bit fearful here that the market’s got downside ahead in May, and we’re also a bit worried that Wall Street is very close to tipping over."