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Aussie shares are under significant pressure on Friday, with the ASX 200 slumping by 3.7 per cent to 5,319.6 due to losses across every sector of the market. This follows a weak lead from Wall Street overnight and a very strong end to the month of April in Australia.

April ended up being the best month since March 1988 for the Australian sharemarket. The ASX 200 surged by 8.8 per cent, came to within 0.75 per cent of a six-week high on Thursday and has built up some momentum in recent weeks. The unprecedented amount of support being offered by central banks and global governments, encouraging results for some COVID-19 treatments and lockdowns starting to loosen in parts of the economy has been helpful. The fact that equities fell so heavily in March (down 21.5 per cent) is likely to have played a part for the rebound.

On Friday, the big banks are down by as much as 5 per cent, BHP is slumping by 6.3 per cent, Rio Tinto (RIO) is down 5 per cent and South32 (S32) is slipping 3.5 per cent. National Australia Bank (NAB) is trading ex-dividend today for its 30c per share interim dividend. NAB paid out 83c a year earlier, however made a decision to reduce its dividend by 64 per cent on Monday to preserve capital.

Newcrest Mining (NCM) is down 8.6 per cent after raising about $1bn from institutional investors to help with the purchase of Fruta Del Norte’s financing facilities and to fund future growth opportunities.

ResMed (RMD) is surging by ~5 per cent after handing down solid quarterly numbers this morning. Revenue jumped by 16 per cent to $769.5m and profit improved by 39 per cent. Strong demand for ventilators (due to COVID-19) and masks designed to treat sleep apnea boosted the result. Fisher & Paykel (FPH) has also improved today.

2.1bn shares have changed hands so far today, worth $4.7bn. 307 stocks are up, 821 down and 313 are unchanged.

The CoreLogic Home Value Index of national home prices rose by 0.3 per cent in April – the weakest increase in nine months to be up 8.3 per cent on the year. Capital city home prices rose by 0.2 per cent – also the weakest in nine months.

Published by CommSec