SYDNEY, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- The Australian market finished lower on Thursday despite higher than average volumes and some positive company reports.
At the close of trade, the S&P/ASX 200 index was down 20.40 basis points or 0.35 percent at 5,784.70, while the broader All Ordinaries index fell 17.6 basis points or 0.30 percent at 5,832.50
"Plenty to keep investors busy today, judging by volumes there was plenty of participation, but investment is still a little bit hard to come by given that individual stock reports are doing most of the driving," CMC Markets chief market strategist, Michael McCarthy told Xinhua.
"There were a number a spectacular results today which drove some big market moves."
"Unfortunately from a technical point of view it looks like the index is starting to roll over, so if we have another down day tomorrow we might see short term interest jumping in and adding to any downside momentum."
Banks and consumer discretionary stocks managed to pick up some of the slack as money moved out of the material and telecommunication sector.
The Commonwealth Bank slipped 0.28 percent, National Australia Bank fell 0.34 percent. Westpac lost 0.26 percent, while ANZ added 1.17 percent.
Rio Tinto plummeted 5.54 percent, BHP Billiton dropped 2.67 percent, Fortescue Metals slid 2.58 percent and Newcrest gained 1.43 percent
Woodside Petroleum rose 0.89 percent, Santos lost 2.22 percent and Oil Search finished lower at 0.28 percent.
Wesfarmers edged higher at 0.16 percent, while Woolworths slipped 0.49 percent.
Telstra was down 0.62 percent, Qantas surged 5.35 percent and CSL slid 0.45 percent.