The Aussie market opened the new trading week in the red, after a mostly negative performance on international markets over the last two sessions.
Regional markets also took their cues from today’s Chinese trade data, which was released earlier this afternoon.
The data showed an unexpected surplus of $5.4 billion, representing a significant difference from the $27.3 billion deficit in February as well as economist expectations of a $5.2 billion deficit.
Closer to home, the ANZ Job Advertisements Survey showed the number of advertisements in March climbing by 1% from the prior month.
The figure helped the index hit its highest level since November 2008.
Almost every sector finished in the red. Telcos were the exception, ending flat, while healthcare and energy were amongst the hardest hit.
The big four banks were weaker on the day; NAB was the worst performer, down 1%.
The mining majors lost ground on the back of generally weaker commodities. BHP declined 0.6%, whilst rival Rio Tinto let go of 0.7%.
The ASX 200 shed 28 points (-0.6%) to close at 4292.