SYDNEY, AAP – Investors are continuing to stumble through September as the Australian market followed Wall Street lower.
Energy shares gave back some of Tuesday’s big gains while the iron ore miners also had substantial losses.
Market giant BHP was down by 2.68 per cent at 1200 AEST. Rivals Fortescue and Rio Tinto lost more than one per cent.
A raft of Chinese economic data is due on Wednesday and could influence trading.
Overnight, US consumer inflation figures were lower than expected and briefly gave investors hope that any tightening of monetary policy might be delayed.
However, companies continue to mention the highly contagious Delta COVID-19 variant and its effects in delaying economic recovery.
Investors are also considering the increasing likelihood of a US corporate tax rate hike.
In Australia, consumers are in a better mood.
Rising vaccination rates have boosted people’s interest in spending their money.
The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer sentiment index rose two per cent in September to stand comfortably above levels seen in the five years before the pandemic.
Meanwhile, millions of people in Canberra, Melbourne and Sydney continue enduring lengthy lockdowns.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 31.3 points, or 0.42 per cent, to 7406.
After 11 consecutive months of gains, the index is down by more than one per cent this month.
The All Ordinaries was down by 29 points, or 0.37 per cent, to 7711.3.
Beach Energy dipped 3.13 per cent to $1.08 after a rise of more than seven per cent the previous day.
Santos shares declined by more than two per cent to $6.35. The shares gained more than five per cent on Tuesday.
The big four banks, as well as the Bank of Queensland, were down by less than one per cent.
Healthcare shares were best on the market and higher by almost one per cent. CSL was up 0.99 per cent to $303.66.
Telecommunications group Uniti will retain an executive director while he tries to clear his name of insider trading charges.
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission has charged Vaughan Bowen with two counts of insider trading of shares in carrier Vocus.
Uniti said Mr Bowen would continue in his role until the matter had been decided.
Shares were down 1.28 per cent to $3.85.
Brewer Good Drinks Australia is buying a pub at the tourist town of Eumundi on the Sunshine Coast of Queensland.
The company will pay $5.3 million for the Joe’s Waterhole venue and redevelop it for its Matso’s brand.
Shares were unchanged at nine cents.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.06 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower than 73.36 US cents at Tuesday’s close.