Viral News

ASX slides to three-week low

Australia’s stock market dropped to its lowest point in three weeks following a global share sell-off sparked by the new, mutated strain of COVID-19.

    The Australian sharemarket closed lower following a global share sell-off sparked by the growing, mutated strain of coronavirus detected in Europe.

    Losses among the major banks and miners weighed on the ASX, pushing it to its lowest level in three weeks.

    The benchmark S&P/ASX 200 index dipped 70.3 points or 1.1 per cent to 6599.6, with falls across sectors, particularly the material and resources industries.

    The broader All Ordinaries index dropped 74.5 points or 1.1 per cent to 6845.5, while the Australian dollar was fetching 75.60 US cents at the end of the local session.

    The spot gold price at 4.30pm (AEDT) was $US1877 per ounce.

    Chief global market strategist at Axi, Stephen Innes, said border restrictions imposed on the UK by the European Union due to the new COVID-19 variant had caused negative market sentiment globally.

    “An escalation of European COVID-19 restrictions in response to fears around a new variant, which is supposed to be faster spreading, should, and did, of course, elicit a negative reaction,” Mr Innes said.

    Silver Lake Resources had the largest tumble, with the gold miner’s share price falling 6.6 per cent to $1.78.

    A2 Milk went against the market trend and ended the session up 5 per cent at $10.77.

    ThinkMarkets analyst Carl Capolingua said markets were quick to price in uncertainty, but noted the local bourse was coping better relative to other international markets.

    “I think Australia in particular is the best placed of any country to ride this out. The strength in our share market and the Australian dollar over the last couple of months is telling you that,” he said.

    Magellan Financial announced it had bought a 10 per cent stake in Mexican fast food chain Guzman y Gomez, but was unable to shake off the market slump with its shares closing 0.3 per cent softer at $54.99.

    Commercial landlord Charter Hall also ended the session 0.5 per cent lower at $14.21, despite finalising its purchase of David Jones’ flagship Sydney department store for $510m.

    The big four banks were lower with ANZ slipping 1.7 per cent to $22.91 and NAB dropping 1.6 per cent to $22.93.

    Commonwealth Bank eased 0.7 per cent to $82.42 while Westpac shed 1.6 per cent to $22.93.

    Major miner Rio Tinto fell 2.7 per cent to $115.41 while its main competitor BHP slid 1.7 per cent to $42.89.

    Telstra shares inched 0.1 per cent lower to $3 and Qantas softened 0.8 per cent to $4.80.

    Wesfarmers lost 0.8 per cent to $50.90 while Woolworths retreated 1.2 per cent to $39.40.

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