Australian stocks have put in another weak performance as healthcare and other global sectors caused the ASX to lag, hovering just above 6000 percentage points at the close for the second day.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 59.2 points, or 0.97 per cent, at 6041.1 at 1630 AEDT on Tuesday, after hitting a low of 6033.6 just before 1500 AEDT, while the broader All Ordinaries was down 63.1 points, or 1.01 per cent, at 66115.5
CMC Markets chief markets strategist Michael McCarthy said it was another tough day on the local market.
“After yesterday, to echo that again is showing how much damage is being done,” Mr McCarthy said.
He predicted the market will fall below 6000 percentage points as the two-day slump – combined with a low volume of international buyers – indicated more sell-offs were to come.
High valuation stocks were under real pressure, he said, which was reflected in the shares of top 10 high growth performers including A2 Milk and AfterPay.
A2 shares were down 3.12 per cent to $9.31.
Companies with international exposure such as healthcare giant CSL and the rest of the sector have been hit hard while inversely, domestic shares in property and trusts have seen a small lift, he said.
CSL closed down 4.52 per cent to $188.21, while Cochlear, ResMed, Sonic, and Ramsay also finished down.
The US dollar settled after an overnight increase causing the Aussie to inch higher to buy 70.86 US cents, still at more than two-year lows but up 0.12 per cent from Monday.
The heavyweight miners ended the day flat as did the energy sector, with BHP up 0.38 per cent to $34.63 while Rio Tinto was down 0.06 per cent to $78.71 while Origin and Beach Energy also finished higher.
But all big four big banks and the financial sector were down, closing between 0.59 and 0.97 per cent lower.
The biggest losses were felt by NAB, which was down 0.97 per cent at $26.61, and the Commonwealth Bank which fell 0.87 per cent to $68.75 after it announced a remediation program for deceased estates on Tuesday.
The markets are expected to remain pessimistic in the week ahead as it prepares for US inflation figures to be announced on Thursday and China’s trade balance due on Friday.
Meanwhile, in the agriculture sector, the drought has seen farmers destocking their paddocks and sending more animals to the abattoir, with the sheep slaughter rate currently at a 10-year peak.
ON THE ASX:
* The S&P/ASX200 was down 59.2 points, or 0.97 per cent, lower to 6041.1 points.
* The All Ordinaries was down 63.1 points, or 1.01 per cent, lower to 66115.5 points.
* In futures trading the SPI200 futures index was down 52 points, or 0.86 per cent, at 6025 points at 1630 AEDT.
CURRENCY SNAPSHOT AT 1630 AEDT:
One Australian dollar buys:
* 70.87 US cents, from 70.60 US cents on Monday.
* 80.15 Japanese yen, from 80.14
* 61.65 euro cents, from 61.34
* 54.10 British pence, from 53.86
* 1.09.86 NZ cents, from 1.09.56
The spot price of gold in Sydney at 1630 AEDT was $US1191.13 per fine ounce, down from $US1196.3 on Monday.