The Australian market was hammered by big losses on Wall Street and weaker commodity prices which pulled down resources stocks.
Here’s the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5,793.20 -30.99 (-0.53%)
- All Ordinaries: 5,763.30 -30.96 (-0.53%)
- AUD/USD: 0.7606 -0.0017 (-0.22%)
Overnight in the US, the S&P 500 index dropped 1.7% as investors digested the impact of a stronger dollar and the prospects of earlier than expected rise in interest rates.
In Australia, the dollar hit $0.759 US, the lowest its been since May 2009, before recovering to $0.7606.
The local market was also pulled down by a raft of companies going ex-dividend. The biggest was BHP which closed down almost 5% to $30.33. Eight out of 10 sectors were weaker.
The top stories on Wednesday:
1. Management moves. Shares in Ardent Leisure, which owns Dreamworld, got smashed after a media executive was appointed CEO. The shares closed down more than 19% to $1.965.
2. Dwindling sales. Major Australian companies are failing to grow revenue and only report better profits by cutting expenses, according to analysis of the December half-year earnings results.
3. The home lending market cooled a little in January. But Investment home lending hit a new record.
4. Consumer confidence in Australia dropped 1.2% in March according to the Westpac – Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index.