Aussie shares started the trading week in negative territory, despite a mixed night on international markets on Friday. At home a majority of sectors finished in the red, with energy and materials clearly the hardest hit.
The defensive segments of the market held up reasonably well, with staples and healthcare both recording gains. The big four banks were mixed; NAB was the best performer adding 0.4%, whilst ANZ was the weakest link closing down 0.6%.
The major miners closed lower as commodities opened the new week in the red. BHP and Rio Tinto lost 0.9% and 2.4% respectively. NWH dropped 3.9% after BHP announced it will axe part of its $120 million contract at Port Headland.
Elsewhere, Nufarm fell 1.4% despite reporting an FY12 net profit after tax of $72.6 million a massive swing from net loss of $49.9 million it posted in FY11.
The ASX 200 let go of 23 points (-0.5%) to settle at 4386.