Australia stocks lower at close of trade; S&P/ASX 200 down 0.34%

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At the close in Sydney, the S&P/ASX 200 declined 0.34%.

The best performers of the session on the S&P/ASX 200 were Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX:LYC), which rose 13.70% or 0.670 points to trade at 5.560 at the close. Meanwhile, Fisher & Paykel Healthcare Ltd (ASX:FPH) added 5.86% or 1.80 points to end at 32.50 and South32 Ltd (ASX:S32) was up 4.14% or 0.110 points to 2.770 in late trade.

The worst performers of the session were Unibail Rodamco Westfield (ASX:URW), which fell 6.75% or 0.32 points to trade at 4.42 at the close. Afterpay Touch Group Ltd (ASX:APT) declined 5.15% or 7.67 points to end at 141.33 and Perpetual Ltd (ASX:PPT) was down 4.82% or 1.73 points to 34.16.

Falling stocks outnumbered advancing ones on the Sydney Stock Exchange by 702 to 644 and 362 ended unchanged.

Shares in Lynas Rare Earths Ltd (ASX:LYC) rose to 5-year highs; rising 13.70% or 0.670 to 5.560. Shares in South32 Ltd (ASX:S32) rose to 52-week highs; rising 4.14% or 0.110 to 2.770.

The S&P/ASX 200 VIX, which measures the implied volatility of S&P/ASX 200 options, was up 2.24% to 13.419.

Gold Futures for February delivery was down 0.37% or 6.95 to $1858.95 a troy ounce. Elsewhere in commodities trading, Crude oil for delivery in March fell 1.20% or 0.64 to hit $52.49 a barrel, while the March Brent oil contract fell 1.05% or 0.59 to trade at $55.51 a barrel.

AUD/USD was down 0.44% to 0.7729, while AUD/JPY fell 0.25% to 80.14.

The US Dollar Index Futures was up 0.13% at 90.248.

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