Aust stocks close lower

Local market falls slightly ahead of tonight's US Federal Reserve meeting.

The Australian sharemarket has closed slightly lower after Chinese new home prices fell for the first time in two years and investors wait for the US Federal Reserve meeting, scheduled for tonight.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the S&P/ASX200 index fell 18 points, or 0.33%, to 5,382.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 16.8 points, or 0.31%, to 5,363.9 points.

IG chief market strategist Chris Weston noted data today that showed average new home prices in 70 Chinese cities declined in May, compared to April, the first month-on-month decline since May 2012 amid sluggish demand. 

"China has been a source of concern today, although you would never have guessed given the solid gains seen in Australian mining stocks today," Mr Weston said.