AUSTRALIAN STOCKS STUMBLE: Local index suffers biggest one-day fall in almost two months

(Photo by Martin Rickett/PA Images via Getty Images)

Australian stocks came under pressure today as the ASX200 closed 0.70% lower — its biggest one-day fall since March 28.

It follows a relatively strong lead from US markets overnight, as the S&P500 posted a strong gain in the wake of reports that the US-China trade war is “on hold“.

The falls came amid some renewed strength in the Aussie dollar, which held its gains in Asian trade after seeing stronger demand across the board overnight.

Most of the major banks were lower, led by declines in ANZ which fell by 1.52%. Commonwealth Bank reversed the broader trend in financial services to post a 0.24% gain.

There were also falls among the big miners, with BHP and Rio both in the red while Fortescue lost 1.49% for the session.

And Telstra’s woes continued in the wake of yesterday’s system outage — its second within the last month.

Shares in the telco fell by as much as 2.9% before closing around 1.4% lower at $2.76 — only slightly above the record low of $2.52 set in 2010.

Elsewhere, losses extended across most of the broader index although embattled financial services provider AMP climbed back over $4 — a gain of 1.52% — after falling to a six-year low last week.

The local index was outpaced today by other markets in the Asian region, with stocks in Hong Kong and Japan trading flat while the Shanghai Composite index for mainland China was down 0.33% in afternoon trade.

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