The Aussie market has fallen quite sharply at lunch on Friday with the ASX 200 sliding 1.7% or 101 points to 5949. The falls on the local bourse follows declines on Wall Street as US investors reacted to signs of rising US unemployment along with the US economy notching its sharpest decline since official records were kept in 1947.
Friday’s losses are leading the benchmark index to a weekly decline but it is still managing to make gains for the month of July, with today the last day of the month. That will make it a fourth monthly improvement in a row. The selling has been rather broad based with nearly every sector in the red. Only the IT sector has managed to make small advances.
Declines have been led by the resource sectors with commodity prices mostly weaker in overnight trade. The energy sector is down following falls of up to 3.3% for global oil prices. Origin Energy (ORG) is one of the worst performers, down 4%, on the release of a quarterly update. Demand for its gas and electricity markets were down on the year before with revenues down as well.
Miners are also being weighed by losses for heavyweights like BHP Group (BHP), which is easing 2.5% while Rio Tinto (RIO) is down 2.3%. Gold miners are in the red after gold futures fell for the first time in nine sessions.
One of the worst individual performers so far is wealth manager AMP Limited (AMP), tumbling 11.6%. The company provided an earnings update ahead of its full profit results to be released on August 13. AMP anticipates its HY underlying profit to halve on the year before, coming in between $140-150 million. Its banking, wealth management and AMP Capital all expected to be hit by Covid-19 disruptions.
Super Retail Group (SUL) beat investor expectations with a sales update that saw like-for-like (LFL) sales rebound strongly in the June quarter following the initial Covid-19 lockdown across the country. FY20 revenue is also expected to rise to $2.82 billion due to the 3.6% lift in FY LFL sales. SUL shares are up 9%.
The AUD is holding around the best levels since April 2019 as it holds above 72.1 US cents. So far, 3.3b units have traded worth $3b with 366 stocks higher, 747 lower and 345 unchanged.
Published by CommSec