The Australian dollar and the local share market are losing ground, with the protests in Hong Kong adding to investor jitters.
The Hong Kong share market has dropped steeply, with much of the city shut down or disrupted by large pro-democracy protests.
The city’s benchmark Hang Seng index was off almost 2 per cent to 23,220 around 3:00pm (AEST).
Australia’s dollar had fallen around 0.8 per cent against the greenback in response to the protests in part of its largest trading partner, slipping below 87 US cents for the first time since January.
By that stage the market had recovered slightly from its losses earlier in the session.
The All Ordinaries index was down 18 points, or 0.3 per cent, to 5,299, and the ASX 200 was also 18 points lower at 5,295.
Among the banks, NAB was 0.9 per cent lower, while Westpac and ANZ were both down around half a per cent, and the Commonwealth was off 0.4 per cent.
The mining sector was the main drag on trade though, with the benchmark spot iron ore price stuck below $US80 a tonne: Rio Tinto had fallen 0.8 per cent, BHP Billiton 0.6 per cent and Fortescue Metals Group 2.3 per cent.
Gold miner Newcrest was also down 1 per cent, but copper and gold miner Oz Minerals had risen 3.1 per cent to $3.95.
Rare earths firm Lynas had crashed 24 per cent to 8.75 cents in the wake of a cut-price share issue as part of a debt restructure plan.
Other market heavyweights were mixed: Telstra was 0.8 per cent higher, but Qantas had slipped 1.1 per cent.
Woolworths had lost 0.9 per cent, and Coles parent company Wesfarmers was 0.6 per cent lower.
Treasury Wine Estates was down 12.6 per cent, after announcing that it had ended takeover discussions with two private equity firms, with no deal as a result.
The potential bidders had both mooted $5.20 per share offers, and Treasury’s share price has fallen from $4.92 to $4.30 accordingly.
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