The Australian stock market closed slightly lower today, pulling back from yesterday's fresh five-year high as investors around the world ready for a possible tapering announcement next week.
At the 1615 AEST official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index fell 0.44% to 5,219.6 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index slipped 0.45% to 5,214.7 points.
IG analyst Stan Shamu said the cautious tone in United States trade overnight extended into Asian markets today.
"Focus has now switched from Syria and back to quantitative easing tapering as we approach next week’s [US Federal Reserve] Federal Open Market Committee meeting," Mr Shamu said.
Locally, he said materials have been lagging the market after leading it all week, as gold names fell and the major miners dropped.
"Risk assets seem to be running out of steam heading into the weekend with a lack of fresh catalysts to keep pushing markets higher," he said.