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The Australian sharemarket is sliding by 1.55 per cent, making if the ASX 200’s biggest tumble in close to three weeks with 90 per cent of stocks in the red. This follows a weak lead from Wall Street and concerns with Greater Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak.

While Sydney has already been in lockdown for two weeks, daily cases are continuing to rise. There were 44 cases identified in Sydney over the past day, making it the biggest lift of the year. State officials also seemed concerned with the current state of affairs. NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian said unless there is a drastic turnaround in case numbers, she can’t see how the lockdown will end next Friday.

All sectors are lower after a couple of hours of trade, with ~90 per cent of stocks on the ASX 200 heading backwards. Tech stocks are the hardest hit, sliding by 3.8 per cent as a sector. Afterpay (APT) is down more than 5 per cent.

The major banks are down by between 1-1.5 per cent. Travel stocks are unsurprisingly declining, as Sydney’s COVID-19 outbreak means less travel. Over 160 cases have been identified in NSW this week alone, with warnings numbers could continue to lift. Webjet (WEB) is down 5.9 per cent, Flight Centre (FLT) is sliding by 3.3 per cent and Qantas (QAN) is down 2.5 per cent.

Sydney Airport (SYD) is down by ~1.7 per cent but is still up by more than 30 per cent so far this week thanks to takeover interest in the airport.

Viva Energy (VEA) is standing out, lifting by 4 per cent after flagging a 34 per cent lift in first half earnings. VEA said it’s had a very strong first half despite the negative impact of periodic lockdown on retail fuel sales. Ampol (ALD) is the second best performer on the ASX 200.

Orica (ORI) is set to pay eligible investors a 7.5 cent per share interim dividend today. Silk Logistics (SLH) is up 15 per cent after the logistics company made its market debut this morning. Mining exploration company Charger Metals (CHR) is up 14 per cent after listing on the ASX today.

2.2bn shares have changed hands so far worth $3.3bn. 394 stocks are up, 844 are down and 444 are flat.

Published by CommSec