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Trending down ahead ofUS jobs data

THE share market closed lower yesterday as investors expect poor US employment data to push the market further down.

THE share market closed lower yesterday as investors expect poor US employment data to push the market further down.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index slipped 64.6 points, or 1.5 per cent, at 4242.9 points, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 61.2 points, or 1.4 per cent, to 4321.5 points.

The market opened weaker, pulled down by losses on the US market.

US stocks dropped more than 1 per cent on Thursday, despite a manufacturing report reflecting expansion in the industry.

An Ord Minnett client adviser Jon Hancock said the majority of stocks followed the market down with the anticipation the US jobs report would make the market fall further.

[There were] very light volumes, very little interest in the retail side of the business, he said. Monday is a Labour Day public holiday in the US.

In local trade yesterday, few stocks bucked the downward trend, with Fairfax Media closing up 1 cent, or 1.2 per cent, at 88?.

Qantas Airways shares were also up 3.5?, or 2.2 per cent, to $1.63 after it reported improving yields, or average fares per passenger, across the airline group for July.

Among the miners, BHP Billiton was 83? lower at $39.04. Fellow miner Rio Tinto was down $1.03 to $72.05.

The major banks also closed down, with ANZ the weakest performer, losing 35?, or 1.7 per cent, to $19.92. Commonwealth Bank fell 56? to $47.52, National Australia Bank lost 34? to $23.51 and Westpac was 21? lower at $20.51.

The worst performing stock at the close was Tabcorp, which fell 13?, to $2.70.

The price of gold in Sydney closed at $US1828.90 per fine ounce, up $12.22 from Thursdays local close of $US1816.68.

National turnover was 1.74 billion shares changing hands for $4.46 billion, with 375 stocks up, 650 down and 366 steady.


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