Australia’s share market was up and down in the first two hours of trade then fell lower, reflecting negativity about economic stimulus chances in the US.
The S&P/ASX200 benchmark index was down 15.3 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 6214.1 at 1200 AEDT on Tuesday.
The All Ordinaries index dropped 13.4 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 6422.2.
Both indices were down for about the first 30 minutes, then rose to be higher, but then eased.
Most sectors were lower. Materials was the worst, down 0.75 per cent. Financials dropped 0.37 per cent.
Information technology was the standout performer, up 2.49 per cent.
The consumer confidence index rose for a seventh straight week to its highest level since late-May.
The ANZ-Roy Morgan index is higher after a tax-cutting federal budget and expectations of a rate cut next month.
Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank of Australia admits its monetary policy tools have become more complex in supporting the economy through the pandemic.
Assistant governor for financial markets Chris Kent used a webinar speech to explain the central bank’s operations.
Mr Kent said tools such as the 0.25 per cent target for the three-year Australian government bond yield, and the term funding facility for banks, gave more control over a wider range of rates.
On the ASX, Afterpay shares broke through the $100 mark and reached a session high of $105.80.
The rise comes after the buy-now pay-later provider said it would offer its 3.3 million users in Australia the ability to link Westpac transaction and savings accounts.
The linking of the services has been made possible by Westpac’s new digital banking platform.
Afterpay shares later eased to be higher by 7.23 per cent to $104.6.
Westpac shares were down 0.71 per cent to $18.64. It was the worst of the big four banks. ANZ was best, up 0.02 per cent to $19.51.
Afterpay rival Zip Co said its users will be able to pay at any store that accepts Visa cards.
Zip users will be able to scan their phone and digital wallet on any payment terminal that reads Visa cards.
Shares in Zip were up 1.67 per cent to $7.2.
BHP has posted a 7.2 per cent rise in first-quarter iron ore production, supported by stable demand from China, the world’s top consumer of the steelmaking ingredient.
The world’s largest listed miner said it produced 74 million tonnes of Western Australia Iron Ore in the three months ended September 30, up from 69 million tonnes a year earlier and slightly above a UBS estimate of 73.5 million tonnes.
Shares were down 1.04 per cent to $36.12. Among major rivals, Rio Tinto slipped 0.76 per cent to $94.83 and Fortescue was up 0.89 per cent to $16.97.
Earlier, Wall Street’s main indexes closed lower as Washington lawmakers appeared to struggle to reach agreement on coronavirus stimulus ahead of a deadline that would make a relief package possible before the November 3 elections.
The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 410.89 points, or 1.44 per cent, to 28,195.42, the S&P 500 lost 56.89 points, or 1.63 per cent, to 3,426.92 and the Nasdaq Composite dropped 192.67 points, or 1.65 per cent, to 11,478.88.
The Aussie dollar was buying 70.55 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 70.88 US cents at the close of trade on Monday.