4min read
PREVIOUS ARTICLE Flattening Covid-19 curve lift... NEXT ARTICLE Bubs shares surge after record...

The Australian share market has lost ground as warnings mount of worsening unemployment and economic conditions because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was down 48.4 points, or 0.88 per cent, to 5,439.7 points at 1205 AEST on Wednesday, having jumped by as much as 44.9 points at the open on a strong Wall Street lead.

The All Ordinaries index was down 43.5 points, or 0.78 per cent, to 5,499.0.

Only consumer staples, tech and telco stocks were ahead as the energy sector dropped on lower oil prices and the banking and mining heavyweights also fell further.

US stocks rose overnight after the White House said President Donald Trump would make a number of announcements about reopening the US economy.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund expects Australia to suffer its biggest economic blow since the Great Depression of the 1930s.

The IMF said it expected unemployment to remain high for at least two years beyond the coronavirus pandemic, with Australia to be among the bottom third of the world’s top 20 economies.

Energy firms Woodside Petroleum, Santos, Origin, Oil Search and Beach Energy fell by between 2.55 per cent and 6.51 per cent after investors bet that a virus-driven drop in fuel demand would be too much for global output cuts to offset.

Among the big banks, Commonwealth Bank fell 1.1 per cent to $62.06, ANZ dropped 0.77 per cent to $16.65 and Westpac shed 1.48 per cent to $16.03.

NAB fell 0.42 per cent to $16.47 and Macquarie Group fell 0.73 per cent to $101.07.

Insurer QBE was trading 1.37 per cent lower at $8.985 despite successfully completing its $1.2 billion institutional share placement.

Mining titan BHP fell 1.8 per cent to $31.09, Rio Tinto dropped 1.3 per cent to $89.65 and Fortescue Metals fell 0.69 per cent to $11.49.

Goldminer Newcrest was flat at $28.83 after a strong start to the day, while fellow precious metals miners Northern Star and Evolution fell by 1.83 per cent and 2.22 per cent respectively.

Health benchmark CSL was down 1.4 per cent to $321.405, with Ramsay up 0.03 per cent at $64.18, Cochlear down 0.58 per cent at $196.42, and Sonic Healthcare climbing by 2.91 per cent to $25.09.

Supermarket Woolworths fell 0.17 per cent to $36.08 per cent and Coles was just 0.06 per cent higher at $16.34 after jumping higher at the open.

Infant formula producer Bubs was still 8.62 per cent higher at 94.5 cents after reporting its highest quarterly gross revenue thanks to booming demand in China for infant formula.

A2 Milk also eased from early highs but was still up 2.8 per cent at $17.97.

Telstra stocks were down 0.95 per cent to $3.13 and Wesfarmers dropped 0.83 per cent to $37.495.

The Australian dollar was buying 64.25 US cents at 1205 AEST, up from 64.10 US cents at the close of markets on Tuesday.