Australian shares closed lower, dragged down by resources stocks, with investors responding to commodity price falls and Europe worries.
At the close of trade on Tuesday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 12.6 points, or 0.29 per cent, at 4,372.9, while the broader All Ordinaries index had fallen 13.7 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 4,395.5.
On the ASX 24, the December share price index futures contract was 13 points lower at 4,385 with 20,575 contracts traded.
Investor confidence is believed took a hit after the International Monetary Fund said that the 11.5 billion euros ($A14.35 billion) in more spending cuts and revenue increases demanded by Greece's lenders might not be enough to get its economy back on track.
IG Markets market strategist Stan Shamu said high yielding stocks such as banks had been helping support the market until the release of a twice-yearly Financial Stability Review by the Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA).
It had suggested conditions would get a lot tougher for the banks, and it was hoped they would not take on riskier loans to try and help their profits tick along, he said.
Banking stocks then gave up a lot of those early strong gains with NAB shares climbing eight cents to $25.58, CBA rising 23 cents to $55.31, but ANZ losing 14 cents to $24.56, and Westpac shed four cents to $24.54.
The real weakness was in the materials space, with commodities down including iron ore prices down to about $US103.70 a tonne on weaker demand in China.
BHP Billiton shares were 16 cents weaker at $33.25, Rio Tinto retreated $1, or nearly two per cent, to $53.97 and Fortescue gave up eight cents, more than two per cent, to $3.52.
Australia's largest gold miner, Newcrest Mining, fell 37 cents, or 1.3 per cent to $27.77, and oil and gas player, Woodside Petroleum, fell 35 cents to $33.65.
Investors moved into more defensive stocks, with telco Telstra moving up two cents to $3.88 and health stock ResMed up eight cents to $3.84.
The spot price of gold in Sydney finished at $US1,764.36 per fine ounce, up $US4.27 from Monday's local close of $US1,760.09 per ounce.
Preliminary national turnover was 1.4 billion securities worth $3.59 billion, with 394 stocks up, 526 down and 344 unchanged.
Keep reading - next article