Australian stocks have ended the first trading session of 2016 lower, dragged down by renewed concerns over China’s economy.
First, the final scoreboard for Monday.
- ASX 200 5270.5000 , -25.36 , -0.48%
- All Ords 5322.8 , -21.76 , -0.41%
- AUD/USD 0.7225 , -0.0071 , -0.97%
Having been up close to 1% in early trade on the back of strength in the energy sector, the index reversed course around noon AEDT, slipping lower in afternoon trade in line with a sharp decline in Chinese stocks.
Continued weakness in the Chinese yuan, falling to a fresh four-year low against the US dollar, along with another weak China manufacturing PMI report for December, contributed to the sharp deterioration in investor sentiment seen during the session.
By sector, financials led the broader ASX 200 index lower, falling 1.04. Other sector heavyweights such as industrials, utilities, telecoms and materials also declined by 0.56%, 0.37%, 0.6% and 0.11% respectively.
Helping to offset those losses, energy finished with a gain of 3.06%, inspired by a more than 2% bounce in US crude futures on renewed geopolitical tensions in the Middle East.
Elsewhere the All ordinaries gold index, supported by safe-haven buying, added 0.73%.
The top stories for Monday.
1. Australian house prices hit a flat spot in the December quarter, recording a fall of 1.4% across the combined capital cities according to the latest release of the Core Logic RP Data home value index.
2. China’s manufacturing sector ended 2015 wallowing in the doldrums.
3. Futures markets are open and the price of crude oil in the US and Europe is surging on the back of increased tensions in the Middle East after Saudi Arabia beheaded Shia cleric Sheikh Nimr al-Nimr.
4. Australian house prices may have peaked, but the nation’s construction sector will boom in 2016.
5. While the RBA may not cut interest rates in 2016, Goldman Sachs reckons there’s still scope to make money betting that they will.
6. Australia’s Budget telco Amaysim just bought Vaya for $70m, sending its stock price up 20%.
7. The Australian dollar was pummelled in Asian trade on Monday, tumbling by around 1% in just a matter of minutes.