SYDNEY, AAP – Australian technology stocks have had more punishment and most shares were lower following inflation concerns in the US.
Technology stocks were down 2.76 per cent after a big rise in US inflation bludgeoned Wall Street and sent bond yields surging.
Afterpay was lower by 5.37 per cent to $84.51 at 1200 AEST on Thursday.
Accounting software provider Xero reported higher full-year net profit but investors still sent shares down 4.54 per cent to $128.75.
US consumer prices jumped by the most in nearly 12 years in April as an economy rebounding from the coronavirus met supply constraints.
Investors reacted by pricing in an 80 per cent chance that the US Federal Reserve will raise interest rates as early as December next year.
The US dollar climbed after the inflation figures.
The Aussie dollar dropped from buying more than 78 US cents to as little as 77.16 US cents.
At 1200 AEST the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 26.9 points, or 0.38 per cent, to 7018.
The All Ordinaries was down 33.7 points, or 0.46 per cent, to 7247.4 points.
Property shares were down 1.31 per cent. Industrials were down 0.82 per cent.
Health shares had the biggest rise, 1.14 per cent. CSL gained 1.5 per cent to $278.38.
One of the biggest improvers on the market was grain and oilseed trader GrainCorp.
The company reported first-half earnings were higher and raised its full-year forecast.
Boss Robert Spurway said agribusiness earnings were up due to larger crop volumes.
The company said underlying earnings rose from $105 million to $140 million.
It raised its full-year underlying net profit forecast from a range of $60 million to $85 million, to between $80 million and $105 million.
Shareholders will receive a fully franked interim dividend of eight cents per share. There was no interim payout last year due to COVID-19.
Shares were up 7.94 per cent to $5.57.
Pub operator Redcape said easing coronavirus restrictions were helping trade and investors will be paid a higher fourth-quarter distribution.
Redcape Hotel Group owns 36 pubs across Queensland and NSW.
Pubs, clubs and cafes have been allowed more customers and freedoms in recent months as health authorities gain better control of the coronavirus.
Redcape’s fourth-quarter distribution will increase from 1.83 cents per stapled security to 2.67 cents per stapled security.
Shares were up 5.61 per cent to $1.03.
In banking, NAB and Westpac traded ex-dividend and were both more than two per cent lower.
NAB shares traded at $25.91 and Westpac was at $25.09.
The iron ore price continued to climb but there was mixed trade for the big miners.
BHP gained 0.5 per cent to $51.26. Fortescue dropped 0.81 per cent to $24.23. Rio Tinto increased by 1.22 per cent to $131.63.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.41 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 78.08 US cents at Wednesday’s close.