Volatile trading has a negative impact

'I don't think there's a great deal of conviction out there.' Greg McPherson, Bell Potter

THE sharemarket fell back into negative territory to close lower after earlier positive trading on the back of takeover announcements and strong earnings results.

The S&P/ASX200 index closed down 19.6 points at 4082.3, while the broader All Ordinaries index was 21.1 points lower at 4150.8.

Bell Potter client adviser Greg McPherson said the market reflected the volatile nature of trading in recent weeks.

"It was pretty a wild spike mid to late morning and then it just sort of ran out of steam," he said. "I don't think there's a great deal of conviction out there."

The market opened slightly lower and within half an hour had moved into positive territory.

Amcor closed up 17? at $6.70 after the packaging manufacturer reported it almost doubled full-year net profit to $356.7 million.

BlueScope Steel lost 4.5? to 74.5? after confirming the closure of two plants and 1000 job cuts, and reported a $1.054 billion loss for the year to June 30.

Shares in Australia's second-biggest steelmaker, OneSteel, closed down 1? at $1.33, after earlier gains following its announcement it would invest $346 million in iron ore mines.

The major banks closed lower, with ANZ down 20? at $19.30 and Westpac 29? lower at $19.36. National Australia Bank was 19? weaker at $22.21, while Commonwealth Bank lost 6? to $45.90.

Global miner BHP Billiton was up 3? at $37.53 and Rio Tinto was down 84?, or 1.2 per cent, at $68.58.

Treasury Wine Estates closed steady at $3.17 after saying there was significant opportunity to grow its business in Asia. The wine company reported a $64.1 million full-year net profit in its first annual result since separating from brewer Foster's Group in May.

Primary Health Care was down 8? at $2.66 after reporting full-year profit declined 40 per cent, as the medical services provider felt the effect of government funding reductions and lower patient demand.

The best performing stock on the ASX 100 was James Hardie Industries, which gained 25?, or 4.8 per cent, to $5.46 after a successful appeal to the full bench of the Federal Court over a tax matter worth over $242 million.

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