Australian stocks were down 4.6% for the week: Here’s what you need to know


Australian stocks closed the week, and the session, lower after being battered by selling from Wall Street.

Today’s scoreboard:

  • ASX200: 5,838.00 -52.70 -0.89%
  • All Ordinaries: 5,937.50 -57.70 -0.96%
  • AUD/USD: 0.7777 -0.0004 -0.05%

Today the local market opened to more sharp falls in the US where the Dow closed down 4.15% to 23,860.46 and the tech-heavy Nasdaq was down 3.90%.

The S&P 500 dropped 3.75%, closing 10.4% below its record high on January 26, meeting the definition of a correction — a 10% decline from its most recent high.

The slump spread to exchanges across Asia.

In Australia, the ASX200 quickly dropped 1.7% and below the 5800 point mark.

However, the index then spent the rest of the session clawing back some of that lost ground.

But, with sharp falls on Monday and Tuesday, the ASX200 ended the week 4.6% behind.

On the ASX today, Rio Tinto had been down 2.6% but closed at $76.86, down just 0.8%. BHP dropped 1% to $29.13.

Westpac was down 0.1% to $30.35 but the NAB climbed back to just within positive territory to close at $28.91, up 0.04%.

Macquarie Group was down 2.4% to $100.53.

Top stories:

1. Myer sales slump again. The department store issued a profit warning and reported another drop in sales, worsening over the key Christmas period and New Year sales. Myer shares dropped 9.3% to close at $0.585.

2. Plenty of reason not to lift interest rates. Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) Governor Philip Lowe delivered his first speech of 2018.

3. A better Christmas for Katies. Specialty Fashion Group — the owner of Millers, Katies, Crossroads, Autograph, City Chic and Rivers — ups its earnings guidance. Its shares jumped almost 29% to close at $0.29.

4. smashes its profit. Thanks to Sydney and Melbourne property markets. Its shares were up 2% to $72.97.

5. Warner Bros may be launching a new video streaming service in Australia. Linius Technologies says it’s signed a deal to pilot its tech for a Transactional Video On Demand (or TVOD) streaming platform.

6. Tax cuts for companies. Malcolm Turnbull has vowed to take his company tax cuts to the next election.

7. Medtech startups. The 10 selected for Australia’s Catalyst accelerator program.

8. Electronic servant. This drone maker plans to launch a delivery service that will bring anything to you, not just food.