Aust stocks close lower

Local market falls amid ongoing Iraq worries, while iron ore price treads water.

The Australian sharemarket has closed lower today as investors continue to worry about the conflict in Iraq and a loss of momentum in the iron ore price.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index dropped 0.57%, or 30.8 points, to 5,402 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 0.52%, or 28.3 points to 5,386.8 points.

CMC market analyst Ric Spooner noted a weaker lead from Wall Street that weighed on local trade.

"Probably the key driver was ongoing concern about the situation in Iraq and news of Syrian air strikes and so forth," Mr Spooner said.

"There was no additional news today so it's just a situation where our market has been pretty cautious since that large rally we had last week. We’ve failed to extend gains after that which indicates an overall air of caution.

"I think there are reasonably full valuations at the moment so as soon as the market pops up a bit there tends to be a bit of profit-taking."

Overnight, the iron ore price was treading water at $US93.30, after edging up from a low of $US89 last week.

"We saw some initial relief at the fact that the price had stopped falling. We saw a bit of a rally a couple of days ago that fed into resources stocks," Mr Spooner said.

"Today the short-term momentum in iron ore seems to have stopped.

"I think the majority view is that forming a bit of a base is possibly the best we can hope for in the near term."

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