Aust stocks close weaker

Local market falls in today's session as investors get portfolios ready for tax time.

The Australian sharemarket rose strongly this financial year but finished the day slightly weaker as investors got their portfolios in order for tax time.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 49.4 points, or 0.91%, to 5,395.7 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index lost 47.1 points, or 0.87%, to 5,382 points.

The benchmark index closed 12% higher over the financial year, after finishing at 4,802.59 points on June 28, 2013. 

CMC chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said the strong yearly gain was one of the key factors at play in today's trade, as fund managers and institutional investors looked at their portfolios and tax liabilities to lock in profits and losses. 

"The best performing stocks over 2013-14 are under pressure today, with banks, Telstra, and healthcare stocks all under pressure.

"Falls in mining stocks may also be the product of a year-end effect, as investors realise losses to offset gains elsewhere."

He said overall volumes were "terrible", even for a Monday, but investors are preparing for a heavy data week ahead, with numbers on Chinese manufacturing and local retail sales expected.

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