S&P/ASX 200 (INDEXASX:XJO) has suffered its first losing session in eight days, with nearly every sector down.
The benchmark index closed down 52.2 points or 0.83% to 6,232.8 points.
Iron rally continues
Iron ore's supply-driven rally accelerated amid increasing concern that the crisis at Brazil's Vale will be drawn out as regulators ordered dozens of dams to be shut.
Iron ore futures rallied as much as 4.1% in Singapore, while spot ore climbed to a two-year high and the contract for high-grade ore extended gains above $US100 a tonne.
Graphite miner Syrah gains
While most miners declined, Syrah Resources (ASX:SYR) surged 11%.
The graphite miner’s quarterly production beat its own guidance while the average graphite price was at the upper end of the company’s target range.
Strong Australian dollar
The Australian dollar continued to strengthen against the US dollar, buying 71.23 US cents after strong February retail sales and trade surplus numbers released yesterday.