The ASX 200 was quick to hand back its early gains and crumbled late to record its worst session in more than a month.
The benchmark index ended 0.9 per cent lower at 6738.4 to continue its spluttering run towards the end of the month and quarter.
Iron ore giants Rio Tinto, BHP and Fortescue Metals proved a heavy weight with each losing more than 2 per cent of their value.
Fellow blue-chips CSL, Commonwealth Bank, NAB, Woolworths, Wesfarmers and Macquarie also fell.
Energy giant AGL reversed early gains to close 3.5 per cent lower at $9.81 after the Victorian government’s decision to block the company’s proposed Crib Point gas terminal.
Telstra was a rare bastion of strength at the top of the market, touching a 12-month high and closing 1.2 per cent higher at $3.43 on a rating and price target upgrade from Morgan Stanley analysts.