Aust stocks close weaker

Local market slips as consumer sentiment stays low, investors worry over global growth.

The Australian sharemarket continued to retreat today as consumer sentiment holds at low levels and investors fear that global growth may be lower than originally thought.

At the 4.15pm (AEST) official market close, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index lost 15.7 points, or 0.29%, to 5,454 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index gave up 16 points, or 0.29%, to 5,432.5 points.

The World Bank today trimmed its global growth forecast to 2.8% for this year, from a January forecast of 3.2%.

Locally, two measures of consumer confidence remained weak as households continue to focus on last month's tough federal budget.

CMC Markets chief market strategist Michael McCarthy said investors continued to price in a lower growth outlook today.

"This meant growth sensitive sectors such as industrials, IT and materials suffered the most, easing some of the pressure on currently unpopular consumer related shares," Mr McCarthy said.

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