SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market has dipped the day after its highest close since February, and there were big losses in consumer and technology sectors.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was lower by 36.6 points, or 0.52 per cent, to 6880.7 at 1200 AEDT on Wednesday.
The All Ordinaries was lower by 38.5 points, or 0.53 per cent, at 7150.8.
Consumer staples lost 3.2 per cent after Coles’ boss Steven Cain said recent strong sales may not continue due to reduced immigration and government stimulus.
Coles lost 5.11 per cent to $17.25 despite first-half earnings before interest and taxes rising 12.1 per cent to $1.02 billion.
The information technology sector lost 3.2 per cent after a dip in the Nasdaq.
In other US markets, the S&P 500 lost a little due to concerns over rising interest rates. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was slightly higher.
American experts said investors were concerned by a surge in bond yields, which could cause turbulence.
In Australia, Victoria’s five-day coronavirus lockdown will end just before midnight Wednesday as authorities believe they have contained an outbreak at the Holiday Inn at Melbourne Airport.
New Zealand’s cabinet will meet on Wednesday afternoon to decide the future of Auckland’s three-day lockdown after two new community COVID-19 infections.
On the ASX, Westpac announced first-quarter cash earnings were up 54 per cent and boss Peter King said there had been a significant increase in home loan applications.
The bank said cash earnings were $1.97 billion, which was better than the quarterly average of its second half last financial year, $808 million.
Shares were higher by 5.44 per cent to $23.73.
Among other banks, ANZ was better by 1.19 per cent to $25.77, the Commonwealth was down 1.28 per cent to $84.81 and NAB gained 0.39 per cent to $25.66.
BetMakers Technology Group surged by 8.62 per cent to 94 cents after it said online gaming figure Matt Tripp would buy $25 million in shares.
Mr Tripp will become a strategic adviser to BetMakers to help it pursue sales around the world.
Online advertising business Carsales claimed a 17 per cent jump in first-half net profit to $74 million but shares fell 0.95 per cent to $21.89.
The business will issue an interim dividend of 25 cents per share, up 14 per cent on the same period last year.
In mining, Fortescue recovered from Tuesday’s news that three executives would leave due to the failings of the Iron Bridge project.
Shares were up 2.82 per cent to $24.37.
BHP rose 3.25 per cent to $48.53 after Tuesday’s bumper interim dividend, while Rio Tinto gained 2.03 per cent to $125.56 ahead of its full-year earnings later on Wednesday.
The Aussie dollar was buying 77.39 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 77.95 US cents at Tuesday’s close.