SYDNEY, AAP – A record share price for financial heavy weight Macquarie Group has not prevented the ASX following US markets lower.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 19.7 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7510.6 at noon.
The All Ordinaries was down by 21.1 points, or 0.26 per cent, to 7805.3.
Macquarie shares on Wednesday traded for a record $182.66 following a first-half update in an investor presentation. By 1200 AEST Macquarie shares were still up 5.75 per cent to $180.95 after the group said first-half earnings would be nearly double from a year earlier, albeit slightly lower on the second-half of FY21.
Weighing down the market were shares in property, information technology, consumer staples and materials. All categories lost about one per cent.
The market remains near record heights despite lengthy coronavirus lockdowns in the ACT, NSW and Victoria.
Wall Street was mixed overnight as investors balanced worries about the slowing economy with expectations that the Federal Reserve will maintain supportive monetary policy.
The S&P 500 and Nasdaq have hit record highs over the past few weeks but concerns are growing about rising coronavirus infections and their impact on economic recovery.
The Nasdaq was the only one of the main indices to close higher.
In Australia, demand for workers is rapidly coming off the boil due to the lockdowns.
Job ads posted online fell by a further 5.6 per cent in August, according to early figures from the National Skills Commission. This is the third consecutive monthly decline.
On the ASX, the banks were the main force against a mostly downbeat mood.
The Commonwealth Bank was the best performer of the big four, higher by 0.89 per cent to $103.05. ANZ fared worst and was little changed.
There was little movement among the miners. BHP lost 0.76 per cent to $41.72. Fortescue and Rio Tinto were little changed.
Gold miners were not faring well either. Northern Star shed 4.46 per cent to $9.41. Evolution sunk by four per cent to $3.84. Newcrest Mining dropped 2.65 per cent to $24.20.
In technology, electronics design software vendor Altium was among the major losers. Its shares slipped 3.18 per cent to $31.88.
Aussie Broadband shares were trading 1.07 per cent lower at $4.58 after it raised $114 million to help the business grow through mergers and extending its network.
The Victorian-based internet provider sold 28.5 million shares at $4 each to investment groups.
The company will soon raise an additional $10 million by selling more stock to shareholders.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 74.00 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower than 74.19 US cents at Tuesday’s close.