Aust stocks close weaker

Strong Australian dollar weighs on exporters, dragging local market lower.

The Australian sharemarket narrowed early losses but still closed half a per cent weaker today as a stronger Australian dollar weighed on exporters.

At the 4.15pm (AEDT) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 26.7 points, or 0.5%, to 5,350.1, while the broader All Ordinaries index shed 27.5 points, or 0.51%, to 5,359.7.

The Australian dollar jumped above US92c overnight after Reserve Bank of Australia Governor Glenn Stevens gave an upbeat assessment of the economy at a Hong Kong conference yesterday and avoided calling the dollar "uncomfortably high".

The currency's rise is weighing on export-exposed companies such as the major miners.

CMC Markets sales trader Betty Lam said the local market followed Wall Street lower, with "anaemic" volumes traded.

"The bulk of the day's trades were exchanged amongst only a handful of the large capped stocks," Ms Lam said.

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