The Aussie market is under pressure to continue to its recent run of gains. The ASX 200 opened higher by 115 points or 2.2% but has slipped into negative territory at lunch. The index is now down 32 points or 0.6% to 5080 and unable to follow the surge on Wall Street. The Dow Jones rose for a third day in a row, soaring another 1,350 points or 6.4% to make it the biggest 3-day gain since 1931. Our market is still on track for a weekly gain of 5%.
As the market losses accelerate, more sectors are turning red from what was broad based gains earlier in the morning. The I.T. and consumer discretionary names are among the remaining winners. Market darling, Afterpay (APT) is lifting 10%. The buy-now pay-later provider has more than doubled from its lows on Monday this week.
Retail names continue to make headlines as more businesses announce temporary store closures as a result of the coronavirus outbreak. Adventure retailer, Kathmandu (KMD) announced it will close all its Australian stores at the end of today for 4 weeks with staff to be stood down with no pay for the period. KMD has seen little impact on first half sales but expects 2H20 earnings to be materially impacted. KMD are still higher by 3.5%.
Elsewhere, Adairs (ADH) will also be closing all its Australian stores from Sunday for 4-6 weeks. However, online operations will remain open. ADH shares are down 5%. Appliance maker, Breville Group (BRG) has also confirmed it is withdrawing its FY20 earnings guidance due to uncertainty around the coronavirus. BRG shares are climbing 7.7%.
Main areas of weakness are coming banks, energy, materials, consumer staples and property stocks. BHP Group (BHP) is down 2.8% and Fortescue Metals (FMG) is 1.8% softer as iron ore eased in overnight trade. Meanwhile, both Coles (COL) and Woolworths (WOW) are declining over 2% each as well. Mirvac (MGR) is one of the larger decliners among property stocks with a loss of 8%. The big four banks are all weaker while energy stocks are being led lower by a fall in global oil prices.
The Aussie dollar is still trading around 60.6 US cents on some USD weakness. So far, 1.8b units have traded worth $5.5b with 671 stocks higher, 401 weaker and 281 unchanged.
Published by CommSec