Australian stocks tanked in afternoon trade, as the big banks and major miners crumbled in the aftershock of a weakening Chinese yuan.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,382.10 -91.13 -1.66%
- All Ordinaries: 5,383.50 -89.61 -1.64%
- AUD/USD: 0.7258 -0.0046 -0.63%
Local stocks had been trending down in early trade following Wall Street, where the S&P500 closed 1% weaker.
The weakening yuan set off a bigger slide in the local market, with the ASX 200 down as much as 2% at one stage, and putting all ten sectors in the red.
BHP dropped 4.33% to $25.20 and Rio 5.4% to $51.65. Fortescue Metals lost 7.9% to $1.79.
The energy sector was down more than 3%, with Santos 4.85% weaker at $6.47 and LNG dropping 8.8% to $2.80.
A whole series of weak profit results further dampened sentiment.
Among them, REA posted a 24% increase in underlying profit of $185.4 million. This was below consensus forecasts and the stock closed down 3.8% to $41.20.
Carsales.com lost 6.4% to $10.08 after reporting an 8% rise in profit to $103.2 million. Again, this was seen as below expectations.
The top stories for Wednesday:
1. The Aussie dollar hit a fresh 6-year low after Chinese authorities let their currency slide again.
3. Horrible numbers. China has released industrial production, retail sales and urban fixed asset investment figures for July, and they’ve all missed expectations.
4. CSL’s full year profits are up 6% to $US1.38 billion, but below expectations, as the biotech builds the world’s second largest flu vaccine business. It closed down 2.2% to $93.
5. Computershare reported a 38.9% fall in statutory profit to $153.6 million on the back of weaker sales and currency movements. It closed down 9.3% to $10.61
6. Australian consumer confidence has staged a dramatic turnaround in August with the Westpac-MI consumer sentiment index jumping 7.8% to 99.5.
7. Feel like your wage haven’t increased much over the past year? You’re not alone. Wages in Australia are growing at the slowest pace on record.