China data fails to inspire

STRONGER-than-expected Chinese trade data helped support a midday rally today, but it wasn’t enough to pull the main index into positive territory.

The S&P/ASX 200 finished 18 points or 0.2% lower at 5404, with some of the heaviest losses coming from mining and energy stocks.

BHP Billiton finished 1.9% lower at $A27.97 and Rio Tinto fell 1.