Australian shares ended lower for the second straight session as investors took money off the table after a recent rally and weak economic growth data out of China took a toll on energy stocks. The S&P/ASX 200 index closed 0.5% lower at 6,649.70, but managed to tack on 0.6% for the week. It gained in eight of the previous 10 sessions, with a five-day rally coming to a halt.
Trading was thin as investors waited to see if the Brexit deal gets the UK parliament’s approval and for further developments on the Sino-US trade talks. Economic growth in China, Australia’s top trade partner, slowed more than expected to its weakest pace in almost three decades in the third quarter, as the bruising trade war with the United States hit factory production.