Aussie shares started the week in the negative territory, despite positive leads from overseas markets on Friday night.
Weighing on our market was China recording a trade deficit of $31.5 billion in February. The deficit is China’s worst in 20 years, and occurred amid a slump in exports.
Two-thirds of the sectors finished underwater, with financials among the worst.
The big four banks weighed on the market; Westpac and ANZ were the worst of the group, declining 0.9% each.
Mining majors were mixed, despite stronger commodity prices. Rio Tinto dipped 0.6% whilst rival BHP closed flat.
In the energy space, Santos bucked the trend on the back of stronger oil prices, gaining 0.7%.
Cockatoo Coal was one of the best performers on the market, soaring 12.3% after shareholder, SK Networks upped its stake in the company.
The ASX 200 declined 15 points (-0.4%), to settle at 4197.