The Australian sharemarket closed in negative territory as Afterpay, health care and energy stocks continued to weigh on the market. At the closing bell, the S&P/ASX 200 was 0.4 per cent or 31 points lower at 7,354. Over the week, it closed 1.5 per cent or 112 points higher.
Across the sectors, 6 out of 11 closed in the red. Health care was the worst performer, down 1.8 per cent, followed by energy, down 1.4 per cent, then technology, down 0.7 per cent.
Buy now, pay later giant Afterpay (ASX:APT) led the losses, closing 3.9 per cent lower, with Zip Co (ASX:Z1P) also down 2 per cent. Health stocks weighed, with CSL (ASX:CSL) closing 2.3 per cent lower, ResMed (ASX:RMD) down 2.6 per cent and Sonic Healthcare (ASX:SHL) down 1.8 per cent.
Energy stocks were lower, led by Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) down 2 and 1.9 per cent as they made their merger official. Coal mining companies added to the fall, with Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) closing 4 per cent lower and Yancoal (ASX:YAL) closing 2 per cent lower.
Major banks closed lower, led by Westpac (ASX:WBC) down 0.6 per cent.
In headlines today, Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) fell 0.6 per cent on news that its CEO is stepping down. Medical wholesaler EBOS (ASX:EBO) jumped 4.3 cent following a $642 million placement to partly fund the acquisition of LifeHealthcare.
Local economic news
The Australian Bureau of Statistics released the monthly business turnover indicator for October, which rises in 9 of the 13 published industries in October 2021.
The largest increase was in accommodation and food services, up 13.8 per cent. Falls ranged from minus 1.9 per cent in mining to minus 4.7 per cent in other services. All industries rose through the year to October 2021, with mining showing the largest annual rise, up 28.5 per cent.
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NZ medical wholesaler EBOS (ASX:EBO) has completed its $642 million (NZ$674 million) placement to partly fund the $1.7 billion acquisition of medical device distributor LifeHealthcare.
Vulcan Energy (ASX:VUL) has agreed to acquire a geothermal renewable energy power plant from energy supplier Pfalzwerke AG in Germany.
Auto-parts supplier Bapcor (ASX:BAP) has refinanced $270 million worth of debt by extending its maturity profile from July 2022.
Elizabeth Gaines will step down as chief executive officer (CEO) of Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) to move to a non-executive director role and become Fortescue’s global green hydrogen brand ambassador.
Santos (ASX:STO) and Oil Search (ASX:OSH) have legally completed their $22 billion merger following approval from the National Court of Papua New Guinea.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 5 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a rise of 3 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a rise of 19 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 15 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
The best-performing sector was Utilities, up 0.4 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Health Care, down 1.8 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Redbubble (ASX:RBL), closing 10.3 per cent higher at $3.33. It was followed by shares in Iluka Resources (ASX:ILU) and NIB Holdings (ASX:NHF).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Afterpay (ASX:APT), closing 4.4 per cent lower at $95.89. It was followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and United Malt Group (ASX:UMG).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 0.5 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has lost 0.3 per cent.
Over the last four trading days, the Dow Jones gained 3.3 per cent, the S&P 500 gained 2.8 per cent and the Nasdaq gained 2.8 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1777.69 an ounce.
Iron ore is 0.3 per cent lower at US$106.70 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 1.4 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.20 lower at US$70.74 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 71.47 US cents.
That’s a wrap for the week, have a nice weekend.