SYDNEY, AAP – A recovery in the Australian share market appeared to be running out of steam by noon despite a sharp rebound in technology stocks.
By 1200 AEDT on Friday, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 11.1 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 7001.7 points after rising as much as 0.77 per cent in early trade.
The All Ordinaries index rose 22.8 points, or 0.31 per cent, to 7275.9 points.
Local investors initially took the cue from a higher close on Wall Street overnight as the United States unveiled more sanctions against Russia following Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine.
US President Joe Biden unveiled a slew of new sanctions against Russia which included its banks and technology imports, but to the market’s relief did not cover oil and gas or the SWIFT international banking system.
It translated into a sharp rebound in technology stocks in the local market.
But traders seemed to be in a risk-off mode with heavyweight mining , energy and financial stocks continuing to trade in the red amid the geopolitical turmoil, adding more pain after Thursday’s market rout.
Technology shares rallied after being pummelled in the previous session, led by a 35 per cent surge in payments giant Block, which overnight reported better than expected fourth quarter results in the US.
The stock, which replaced Afterpay in January after taking over the buy now pay later pioneer, was trading at $156.29.
Appen shares jumped 11 per cent, while Wisetech Global and Xero rose 2-3 per cent.
Mining shares were weaker, mainly on account of gold stocks dropping amid a decline in bullion prices overnight. Newcrest and Northern Star Resources fell around 4 per cent each.
Lynas Rare Earth Ltd jumped 4.5 per cent to $9.37 after posting a record first-half profit, while iron ore miners BHP and Rio Tinto were about 0.5 per cent lower.
Energy stocks fell after oil prices pulled back from multi-year highs, with Santos and Woodside Petroleum down 0.3 per cent and 1.0 per cent respectively.
Each of the Big Four banks were in negative territory, while Magellan Financial dropped more than 6 per cent to $18.50 after the troubled fund manager disclosed further outflows.
Medibank shares dropped more than two per cent after the health insurer unveiled a drop in first half profit.
Meanwhile, the Australian dollar dropped further amid souring risk sentiment. It was buying 71.57 US cents at 1200 AEDT, compared to 71.95 US cents at Thursday’s close.