The ASX got hammered for the second session in a row, leaving the market lighter after two days by about $50 billion in capitalisation.
Friday’s punishment of local energy stocks continued with the sector down an average of more than 6% as global oil prices fell again, now down below $65 per barrel.
The world’s biggest miner BHP, which is exposed to both oil and weakening iron ore prices, had its worst day of the year, losing 5.3% to $29.70. Santos was down more than 9% to $9.18.
First, the scoreboard:
- S&P ASX 200: 5207.7 -105.3 (-2.0%)
- All Ordinaries: 5190.7 -107.4 (-2.1%)
- AUD/USD: 0.8454 -0.0049 (-0.58%)
And the top stories on Monday:
1. Shares in Metcash, the operator of IGA supermarkets, slumped 15.7% to $2.2 after a weak six monthly profit result. The company said sales revenue increased 1% to $6.6 billion for the six months to the end of October. Underlying net profit fell 9% to $101.7 million.
2. Qantas shares took off again, jumping 10% on opening and breaking through the $2 mark at the close. Last week the airline’s stock added 10% in value following a sharp drop in oil prices. The airline is a big beneficiary of lower oil prices.
3. Gold got smoked and its fall has added to the already bearish Aussie dollar outlook as global investors and traders re-rate the prospects of the economy, interest rates and dollar.
4. Low inflation. The TD–MI monthly gauge is the most timely read of inflationary pressures in the Australian economy. At the moment it continues to show that inflation is low, with a rise of just 0.1% in November for a year-on-year increase to 2.2%.
Here’s how the S&P/ASX 200 tracked today: