The Australian stock market has closed lower, with weakness among the major miners helping snap a two-day rally.
Weaker commodities prices in offshore trade, as well as some disappointing Chinese manufacturing data released on Wednesday, prompted investors to bail out of resources-linked companies.
BHP Billiton tumbled 1.62 per cent,or 53 cents, to $32.17, while Rio Tinto slipped 1.38 per cent, or 77 cents, to $55.03.
In percentage terms, gold miner Newcrest was the worst-performing stock on the S&P/ASX20, backpedalling 2.14 per cent, or 36 cents, to $16.45.
Financial stocks also finished in the red, with the sector easing 0.22 per cent and giving back gains from Tuesday's session when investors cheered ANZ's profit result.
ANZ ended down 15 cents at $31.69, CBA dropped 50 cents to $72.95 and NAB eased five cents to $33.95.
Westpac bucked the trend, rising 26 cents to $34.06.
"It was not entirely surprising to see the ASX200 give back some ground today particularly after the barnstorming run by the banks on Tuesday," CMC Markets senior trader Tim Waterer said in a research note.
"A mild pullback in some commodity prices as well as subdued Chinese manufacturing data contributed to weakness among the resource stocks."
China's purchasing managers' index (PMI) dropped to 50.6 in April, down from 50.9 the month before, which analysts suggested was a sign of further weakness in the world's second-largest economy.
"It is fair to say that traders won't be doing handstands at the apparent growth slowdown in occurring in such a key economy," Mr Waterer said.
Making news on Wednesday, Telstra emerged as one of the bright spots on the market amid a sea of red, rising five cents to finish at $5.01.
It was the stock's highest close since July 2005.
The company said on Wednesday it expected to pay fully franked dividends totalling 28 cents per share in 2012/13, in line with prior years, and maintained full-year earnings guidance.
In other news, ASX rose 16 cents to $37.77 after the stock exchange operator reported a 1.7 per cent lift in net profit for the nine months to March 31.
* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index closed down 25 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 5,166.2 points on Wednesday.
* The broader All Ordinaries index ended down 24.7 points, or 0.48 per cent, at 5,143.9 points.
* The June share price index futures contract fell seven points to 5,161 points, with 17,952 contracts traded.
* The spot price of gold in Sydney finished at $US1,472.85 per fine ounce, up $US7.30 from Tuesday's local close of $US1,465.55 per ounce.
* National turnover was 1.5 billion securities worth $3.2 billion.
Keep reading - next article