Aust stocks close slightly lower

The Australian dollar surged after official data showed the consumer price index climbed 2.7% for 2013, beating expectations for 2.5%.

The Australian sharemarket has closed slightly lower following a higher-than-expected rise in inflation and a second-quarter production report from BHP Billiton Ltd that missed analyst expectations.

At the official close of 1615 AEDT the benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index was 0.22% lower at 5,319.8 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 0.2% to 5,331.3 points.

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