SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market was a little lower after the materials sector dropped from a plunge in iron ore prices in China.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was down 13.5 points, or 0.19 per cent, to 6757.7 at 1200 AEDT on Wednesday.
The All Ordinaries was lower by 11.8 points, or 0.16 per cent, at 6988.6.
The heavyweight materials sector was down 1.63 per cent.
Iron ore prices on Chinese markets tumbled by the 10 per cent daily limit after China’s top steel-making city of Tangshan introduced tighter anti-pollution measures.
Energy was down 1.76 per cent after oil supply fears eased. Saudi Arabia said it thwarted a Yemeni drone and missile strike on its industry.
Information technology rose 3.6 per cent after heavy falls on Tuesday.
US stocks rallied earlier, as investors scooped up technology stocks that were sold in the previous session.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 30.3 points, or 0.10 per cent, to 31,832.74, the S&P 500 gained 54.09 points, or 1.42 per cent, to 3,875.44 and the Nasdaq Composite added 464.66 points, or 3.69% per cent, to 13,073.83.
In Australia, Reserve Bank governor Philip Lowe noted the recent action in bond markets has interest rate increases priced in Australia as early as late next year and again in 2023.
“This is not an expectation we share,” he said at a business conference.
Mr Lowe said he does not expect to lift the cash rate from its record low 0.1 per cent until 2024 and when inflation is predicted to be sustainably within the two to three per cent target.
Wages growth also needs to materially higher.
In industry news, Victoria’s largest coal-fired power station will close four years ahead of schedule.
EnergyAustralia told staff its Yallourn Power Station, in the Latrobe Valley, will close in mid-2028. It had been licensed to operate until 2032.
Yallourn supplies up to 22 per cent of Victoria’s electricity and employs about 500 workers.
On the ASX, Fortescue Metals was a notable victim of the slide in iron ore prices.
The company lost 6.69 per cent to $20.69.
BHP shed 2.37 per cent to $47.82 and Rio Tinto lost 3.7 per cent to $116.71.
Afterpay was among the tech companies to rebound from Tuesday.
The buy now, pay later provider sprung 7.39 per cent to $115.12.
The rise came despite PayPal’s news it will start providing buy now, pay later services to Australians in June.
Treasury Wine Estates said it had licensed four brands for use in the Americas by The Wine Group: Beringer Main & Vine, Beringer Founders’ Estate, Coastal Estates and Meridian.
They had sales of $92 million in the six months to December 31 and Treasury will earn $100 million from the deal.
Its shares were higher by 2.61 per cent to $11.39.
Nickel producer Western Areas dropped 10 per cent to $2.10 after raising $85 million from institutional investors.
The investors bought shares for $2.15 each.
The company will use the money to develop its Odysseus nickel mine in Western Australia and progress others in the same state.
In banking, NAB had the biggest loss among the big four and shed 1.31 per cent to $26.30.
The Australian dollar was buying 77.03 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 76.66 US cents at Tuesday’s close.