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The Australian share market’s Santa rally ground to a halt on the eve of Christmas Eve as energy prices fell overnight.

Here’s the scoreboard:

  • S&P ASX 200: 5,380.90 -61.05 (-1.12%)
  • All Ordinaries: 5,356.40 -57.69 (-1.07%)
  • AUD/USD: 0.8118 -0.0015 (-0.18%)

Local stocks had gained 5.5% over four positive trading sessions but headed down today despite gains on Wall Street where the S&P 500 index was up by 0.4%.

Brent crude fell by US$1.27 or 2.1% to US$60.11 a barrel, sending the local energy sector down around 2%.

All sectors were weaker on the local market. Shares in Woodside Petroleum were down 1.81% to $38.00, Santos 0.59% to $8.41 and Sundance Energy was weaker by more than 13% to $0.455. BHP ended the day down 3% at $28.89. Iron ore producer Fortescue fell more than 5% to $2.55. The major banks were all weaker after solid gains over the last few sessions.

And the top stories on Tuesday:

1. Strategic move into Asia. Telstra has bought Singapore and Hong Kong based-Pacnet for US$697 million (AU$858 million) in a deal which will give it infrastructure, more customers in Asia and a virtual private network and data centre services in China. Telstra shares were down 0.33% to $5.97.

2. Australians are still holding on tight. A NAB index shows Australian are less anxious but still cautious when it comes to money.

3. Oil in free fall. What does this mean for pump prices in Australia and what will consumers do with their savings?

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