Home Finance ASX suffers worst three-day fall since January

ASX suffers worst three-day fall since January

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The Australian sharemarket has been thumped for the third day in a row, with fears of a rate rise in the US denting global markets. Australia’s sharemarket has hit its lowest point in five weeks after US inflation figures sparked fears of a spike in interest rates. The S&P/ASX 200 index fell 62.2 points or 0.9 percent to 6882.7, while the All Ordinaries tumbled 72.1 points or 1 percent to 7209.

Local stocks were quick to follow sharp falls on Wall Street, with the three major US indices tumbling more than 2 percent after releasing inflation data that pointed to a potential interest rate hike by the Federal Reserve. The Dow pulled back 2 percent, the S&P 500 slumped 2.2 percent, and the Nasdaq closed 2.7 percent lower.

“Higher inflation figures released in the US overnight sent markets tumbling, with the tech stocks the heaviest hit,” OpenMarkets chief executive Ivan Tchourilov said. “Core (US) CPI was forecast to come in flat at 0.3 percent but came in triple that at 0.9 percent.” Local tech stocks were whacked the hardest of any other sector, with Afterpay slumping 5.4 percent to $84.50, while EML Payments dropped 1.7 percent to $5.20.

ASX

“The stock (Afterpay) is in a pretty fierce correction at the moment and is approaching oversold territory, but the sentiment is quite negative in the tech space in general right now, so it wouldn’t surprise to see them continue to push lower in the near term,” Mr. Tchourilov said. Mining services company Parenti Global was the worst performer in the ASX200, plummeting 29.2 percent to 69 cents, while Whitehaven Coal topped the index, up 6.4 percent at $1.26.

Cloud accounting software Xero plunged 13 percent to $117.39 despite revealing a profit bounce “but clearly not enough to warrant their lofty valuation”, Mr. Tchourilov said. GrainCorp rose 5.2 percent to $5.43 after lifting its full-year profit guidance on the back of shifting grain and oilseeds to new export markets instead of China.

Treasury Wine Estates added 2.7 percent to $10.22 after saying it expects 33 percent profit growth in the half-year ended June 30 and has also moved into other markets following the crippling tariffs imposed by China last year. Explosives manufacturer Orica fell 0.6 percent to $13.33 after revealing its half-yearly profits more than halved compared to the prior year.

Crown closed 0.4 percent lower at $12.75 despite the New South Wales gaming regulator suggesting the company could obtain a gaming license for its new Sydney casino by the end of the year. Star Entertainment confirmed it would cease all international junket operations following last year’s damning NSW inquiry into its rival but ended the session 2.7 percent lower at $3.95.

Travel stocks were still feeling the pinch of expectations the international travel suspension would last longer than previously thought. Qantas was down 2.2 percent at $4.40, and Webjet fell 1.1 percent to $4.57, while Flight Centre bucked the trend, lifting 0.9 percent to $14.91.

The index’s three-day slump weighed heavily on major miners, with Rio Tinto losing 1.6 percent to $128, BHP shedding 1.3 percent to $50.35, and Fortescue sinking 4.05 percent to $23.44. Westpac closed flat at $25.19, National Australia Bank inched 0.08 percent higher to $25.96, ANZ rose 0.85 percent to $27.15, and Commonwealth Bank climbed 0.4 percent to $95.98.

Telstra fell 1.15 percent to $3.44 after being slapped with a whopping $50m fine for selling mobile phone contracts to more than 100 Indigenous customers who couldn’t understand or couldn’t pay for the plans. It is the second-highest penalty ever imposed under the Australian Consumer Law. Bunnings owner Wesfarmers was 0.7 percent lower at $53.89, and Woolworths dipped 0.5 percent to $40.29. Spot gold was $US1820.5 an ounce, while the Australian dollar was buying 77.2 US cents in afternoon trade.

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