Aust stocks close slightly lower

Falling iron ore price, worries over conflict in Iraq continue to weigh on local market.

The Australian sharemarket closed slightly lower today amid worries about a fresh fall in the iron ore price and conflict in Iraq.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the S&P/ASX200 index fell 11.6 points, or 0.21%, to 5,400.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 9.9 points, or 0.18%, to 5,380.7 points.

The iron ore price dropped to $US89 a tonne overnight, its lowest point since September 2012, while jitters continued over the unfolding situation in Iraq.

Maxim Asset Management investment director Winston Sammut said there was a level of uneasiness in the market that was holding investors back today. 

"There isn't a lot of conviction, whichever way you look at things. There's just more confusion than anything else," Mr Sammut said. 

"There's concerns about the oil price and what that's going to do.

"Also we're coming up to the end of the financial year. There's a lot of trades that would not normally take place other than for tax purposes, whether people are either taking profits or taking losses, and it's hard to judge what the impact of that is." 

Mr Sammut also noted buying in property trusts, boosted on indications that the Westfield restructure vote this week is likely to be carried.

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