he S&P/ASX 200 index declined 11 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6043 while the All Ordinaries lost 10 points, or 0.2 per cent, to 6158. The Australian dollar was at US80.72¢ after US officials’ comments sent the greenback tumbling overnight.
US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin endorsed the US dollar’s decline as a benefit to the American economy and Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross said the US would fight harder to protect its exporters.
“His comments have turned into a bit of fiasco and will end up going down in market folklore for marking the first time since the early 90’s a US Treasury Secretary endorsed a weaker US dollar,” said Stephen Innes, APAC head of trading at OANDA.
Commodity prices gained as the dollar weakened, providing a tailwind for the Australian mining sector on Thursday.
BHP climbed 0.9 per cent, Newcrest advanced 2.5 per cent and Rio Tinto rose 1.1 per cent.
Energy companies were also broadly advancing, with Woodside up 1 per cent and Whitehaven Coal higher by 4.1 per cent.
On the downside, Westpac declined 0.6 per cent and ANZ lost 0.8 per cent in the banking sector.
Industrials were lower as well, with Transurban down 1.6 per cent and Sydney Airport lost 1.4 per cent.