Stocks had recovered strongly from an early morning drop only to fall away again towards the end of the session.
The RBA’s decision to leave the official cash rate at 4.75% failed to lift confidence, with investors still fearful over Europe’s debt crisis.
All sectors gave up ground today; telcos werer the hardest hit on the back of a 1.3% drop in Telstra.
Rebounding bullion prices lifted some of the gold stocks; Newcrest put on 1% and Medusa rose 3.9%.
The mining giants both ended weaker; BHP shed 0.9% and Rio Tinto slipped 0.5%.
There were more losses among the big four; CBA and Westpac declined 0.8% each.
The ASX 200 lost 25 points (-0.6%), settling at 3872.