ASX declines for second week, miners tumble: Aus shares close 0.8% lower

The Australian sharemarket remained in negative territory throughout the day, mainly due to heavy declines in major mining stocks. At the closing bell, the ASX 200 was 0.8 per cent or 57 points lower at 7,404. Today’s loss saw the ASX finish the week 0.04 per cent or 3 points lower, its second consecutive weekly decline. 

Across the sectors, 7 out of 11 finished in the red. Materials was the obvious outlier, down 4 per cent per cent, while energy was behind, down 1.3 per cent. Financials, utilities and consumer staples also contributed to the losses. On a brighter note, technology dominated the ASX today, up 2.1 per cent. Health care and industrials also made gains.

A slump in iron ore prices caused Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) to close 11.4 per cent lower as the worst-performing stock. BHP (ASX:BHP) closed 3.9 per cent lower, Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) closed 4.7 per cent lower and Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) closed 8.5 per cent lower. Gold prices also declined, which led Northern Star Resources (ASX:NST) to close 3.2 per cent lower and Evolution Mining (ASX:EVN) to close 2.8 per cent lower. 

Major oil stocks slumped, apart from Woodside Petroleum (ASX:WPL), which closed 0.3 per cent higher. Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) closed 1.2 and 1.5 per cent lower. AGL Energy (ASX:AGL) also closed 5.1 per cent lower. 

Major banks finished in the red, with NAB (ASX:NAB) performing the worst, closing 1.1 per cent lower. 

In headlines today, Iress (ASX:IRE) closed 10.6 per cent lower, after the private equity firm EQT walked away from its deal to acquire the financial software company.

Company news

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Private equity firm EQT has walked away from the deal with Iress (ASX:IRE) after failing to reach an agreement on revised $15.91 cash per share offer from July.

Cimic’s (ASX:CIM) subsidiary CPB Contractors, with its joint venture partner Acciona, has won construction work at the new Western Sydney International Airport.

Medibank (ASX:MPL) directors Christine O’Reilly and Peter Hodgett will both retire from the health insurer’s board at the annual general meeting in November.

Air New Zealand (ASX:AIZ) has provided an update on its financial performance despite suspending guidance last month after prolonged lockdowns.

IPO

SSH Group Ltd (ASX:SSH) listed on the ASX with an issue price of $0.20. The shares opened at $0.26 and closed at $0.26.

Way 2 VAT (ASX:W2V) listed on the ASX with an issue price of $0.20. The shares opened at $0.35 and closed at 0.32.

Futures

The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a rise of 37 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 5 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 13 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 82 points when the market next opens.

Best and worst performers

The best-performing sector was Information Technology, up 2.1 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Materials, down 4 per cent.

The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Redbubble (ASX:RBL), closing 6.3 per cent higher at $4.05. It was followed by shares in PointsBet Holdings (ASX:PBH) and Atlas Arteria (ASX:ALX).

The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG), closing 11.5 per cent lower at $15.27. It was followed by shares in IRESS (ASX:IRE) and Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU).

Asian markets

Japan’s Nikkei has gained 0.7 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has gained 0.2 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.2 per cent.

Wall Street

Over the last four trading days, the Dow Jones gained 0.4 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 0.3 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 0.4 per cent.

Commodities and the dollar

Gold is trading at US$1763.55 an ounce.
Light crude is trading $0.23 lower at US$72.14 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.06 US cents.
Iron ore is 8.1 per cent lower at US$107.21 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 6.2 per cent.
 

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