The Australian sharemarket bucked its trend from the start of the week to close deep in the red, tumbling 1.9 per cent or 143 points lower at 7,370.
The much-hoped recovery towards the closing bell was offset by a directionless move to see the local bourse notched its worst performance for the week.
Not one sector saw a glimmer of green by market close with losses across the board. Technology plummeted 3.2 per cent, the worst performer for the session, followed by communication services, dived 2.3 per cent and industrials. Materials, energy and consumer discretionary almost closed 2.1 per cent lower. Consumer staples shed the least, down 0.7 per cent.
The moves followed a weak lead from Wall St on fears of the rise in Covid-19 cases will hinder the strong economic recovery that has been seen recently. The worries were amid news that stateside’s job openings were at all time high with the Fed’s Beige Book reinforcing the tune around inflation, and the supply chain bottle neck that has been seen across the globe. This followed the disappointing jobs data from last Friday where 235,000 new jobs were added into the economy versus an expectation of 750,000.
Japan’s Nikkei has retreated from their best performance in 6 months, down 0.6 per cent with further declines in the Hong Kong Hang Seng on continued crackdown on gaming while China’s Shanghai Composite has shed a further 0.1 per cent at this point.
In terms of the companies on the move, Resmed (ASX:RMD) was the best performer closing 1.8 per cent higher at $40.30 on no major news. However, the medical device company has moved up to the ASX 50 with rebalancing among market participants in sight.
Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) closed 1.4 per cent higher at $2.94 as the coal price remains firm.
The worst performer was Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK), closing 7.9 per cent lower at $3.60 on no major news like Resmed. However, according to sources at Business Wire, Virgin has inked a deal with Wall St listed giant Global Payments to extend Global’s digital payment services to Virgin Money customers.
Heavyweight miners BHP (ASX:BHP) lost 1.7 per cent to $40.92, and Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) fell 2.5 per cent to $105.50 while biotech CSL (ASX:CSL) sunk 1.8 per cent lower. Commonwealth Bank (ASX:CBA) tanked 2.3 per cent at $100.55 while Oil Search (ASX:OSH) declined 2.7 per cent at $3.65.
New South Wales premier Gladys Berejiklian outlined the roadmap to freedom with travel and flight stocks closing over 2 per cent lower with Webjet (ASX:WEB) falling the most by 3 per cent at $5.86.
Tonight, investors will keep an eye out to see what moves the European central bank will take as the taper talk continues. Meanwhile on Wall St, the weekly jobless claims is slated along with the Philly Fed index pencilled in. Retail sales figures are also on the horizon.
Local economic news
Payroll jobs fell by 0.7 per cent in the fortnight to 14 August 2021, compared to a fall of 1.8 per cent in the previous fortnight, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
Bjorn Jarvis, head of Labour Statistics at the ABS, said: “The largest falls in payroll jobs in the first half of August were in New South Wales (down 1.2 per cent), Queensland (down 1.0 per cent), the Australian Capital Territory (down 0.7 per cent) and Victoria (down 0.6 per cent).
“These four states and territories had lockdowns for either all or part of the first half of August, in addition to existing restrictions and border closures across the country.”
Payroll jobs in South Australia rose by 1.5 per cent in the first two weeks of August, following the lockdown in late July when payroll jobs fell by 2.0 per cent.
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Perth based miner, Gold Road Resources (ASX:GOR) posted a fall in profit in the first half of this year. The update comes after the miner warned investors a month ago that several disruptions at its Gruyere Gold Mine was set to weigh on their headline production numbers.
Oil Search (ASX:OSH) has inked a deal for a credit facility which will help boost their liquidity and capital management for the next five years.
Shareholders in litigation financier Omni Bridgeway (ASX:OBL) are booking their profits after a judgement was overturned with hopes of potential income, gone.
The Dow Jones futures are pointing to a fall of 118 points.
The S&P 500 futures are pointing to a fall of 16 points.
The Nasdaq futures are pointing to a fall of 44 points.
The SPI futures are pointing to a fall of 141 points when the market next opens.
Best and worst performers
All sectors closed in the red.
The sector with the fewest losses was Consumer Staples, down 0.7 per cent. The worst-performing sector was Information Technology, down 3.2 per cent.
The best-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was ResMed (ASX:RMD), closing 1.8 per cent higher at $40.30. It was followed by shares in Whitehaven Coal (ASX:WHC) and Elders (ASX:ELD).
The worst-performing stock in the S&P/ASX 200 was Virgin Money UK (ASX:VUK), closing 7.9 per cent lower at $3.60. It was followed by shares in Orocobre (ASX:ORE) and EML Payments (ASX:EML).
Japan’s Nikkei has lost 0.6 per cent.
Hong Kong’s Hang Seng has lost 1.9 per cent.
China’s Shanghai Composite has gained 0.1 per cent.
Commodities and the dollar
Gold is trading at US$1788.81 an ounce.
Iron ore is 4.2 per cent lower at US$132.19 a ton.
Iron ore futures are pointing to a fall of 0.9 per cent.
Light crude is trading $0.15 higher at US$69.45 a barrel.
One Australian dollar is buying 73.62 US cents.
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