The Australian market followed Wall Street sharply lower today, with wary investors dragging the ASX 200 index below 5900 points.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,879.10 -94.22 (-1.58%)
- All Ordinaries: 5,849.70 -87.39 (-1.47%)
- AUD/USD: 0.7818 -0.0026 (-0.33%)
Wall Street closed down overnight with the S&P 500 losing 1.5%.
On the local market, nine out of ten sectors were lower. The financials led the slide with Westpac shedding 2.36% to $38.95, the Commonwealth bank 2.11% to $93.840, the ANZ 2.1% to $36.40 and the NAB 1.65% to $38.65. AMP lost 2% to $6.54
Among healthcare stocks, CSL was down 1.8% to $91.87, Ramsay Health Care lost 2.16% to $66.16 and Cochlear was weaker by 2.9% to $90.36.
The top stories on Thursday:
1. Half of the Bank of Queensland’s loans business is outside the state. It posted cash earnings of $167 million, up 19%, for the six months to the end of February on growing commercial and mortgage lending. Its shares closed down 3% to $13.90.
2. Myer faces legal action by a group of shareholders over its grim first-half profits announcement and warning of weaker results for the full 12 months. Myer shares, trading ex-dividend, closed down 4.5% to $1.35.
3. Capping iron ore production. Rio Tinto CEO Sam Walsh says Andrew Forrest’s call to limit iron ore production is a “nonsense” and “hairbrained” scheme. Also read: There’s already an anti-competitive strategy in place. Fortescue closed up 3.95% to $2.12.
4. Crude oil prices spike, gaining almost 2% to bring it back above the $US50 per barrel mark.