SYDNEY, AAP – Shares were at their lowest level of the day’s trade after more coronavirus lockdowns were declared in Australia.
Shares on the ASX were 0.9 per cent lower as the Delta variant prompts businesses to close doors across the country.
The Queensland government moments earlier ordered a three-day lockdown for the southeast, Townsville and two islands.
People there join those in Perth and the Peel region, Darwin and a large part of NSW in staying at home.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 65.8 points, or 0.90 per cent, to 7241.5 at 1200 AEST on Tuesday.
The All Ordinaries was down by 66 points, or 0.87 per cent, to 7506.5.
Property shares fared worst, down 1.72 per cent.
Major property shares such as Goodman Group, Mirvac and Stockland are trading ex-dividend.
There were declines of more than one per cent for shares in energy, materials and industrials.
Energy lost 1.51 per cent. Oil prices slipped for a second day on worries about slower fuel demand as outbreaks of the Delta variant prompted travel restrictions around the world.
In the US, the Nasdaq and S&P 500 hit all-time highs from investors expecting robust earnings from tech stocks.
The two indices closed higher by less than one per cent while the Dow Jones closed lower by 0.44 per cent.
In Australian economic data, the weekly ANZ-Roy Morgan consumer confidence index – a pointer to future household spending – declined 0.2 per cent.
The data may be less relevant given the drastic change in the virus situation since the survey.
Outdoor goods retailer Kathmandu says sales and earnings have been hit by recent coronavirus lockdowns in Australia, particularly in NSW and Victoria.
Some 40 stores are closed in NSW due to a two-week lockdown that won’t end until July 9.
Another 26 are closed in Western Australia, which on Tuesday began a four-day lockdown.
Shares were down by 2.7 per cent to $1.44.
KFC and Taco Bell operator Collins Foods posted a gain in full-year earnings of 1.5 per cent.
KFC Australia was a standout performer and helped a net profit after tax of $32.9 million.
Shareholders will receive a fully franked final dividend of 12.5 cents per share. This is better than the previous fully franked final payout of 10.5 cents per share.
The company’s shares on the ASX were down 2.2 per cent to $12.34.
Santos said it started front-end engineering and design of its oil and gas Dorado project, off the coast of Western Australia.
RBC analyst Gordon Ramsay said Dorado was the most significant project for Santos’ oil production.
The project still needs a final investment decision next year.
Shares were lower by 1.37 per cent to $7.15.
The big four banks were all lower by less than one per cent. NAB fared worst and dropped 0.99 per cent to $25.86.
The big miners were in bigger trouble. BHP was down 1.36 per cent to $47.74.
The Australian dollar was buying 75.59 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower from 75.90 US cents at Monday’s close.