Selling has continued into Wednesday’s session with the ASX 200 tumbling another 100 points or 1.5% to 6611 after briefly falling back below 6600 points for the first time since October 10. Further comments by US President Donald Trump have added to growing trade concerns. After escalating tensions between the US and Brazil, Argentina and France previously, Trump has mentioned he is now in no hurry to sign a phase one trade deal with China and could wait until after the US Presidential election in November 2020 to do so. There is still the possibility that the US will hike tariffs by 15% on over $150 billion of Chinese imports on December 15 if no headway is made.
Losses have been evenly spread across all sectors with over 80% of top 200 stocks in reverse. Materials are one of the major underperformers. Heavyweights have been the major drag with the likes of Rio Tinto (RIO), BHP Group (BHP) and Fortescue Metals (FMG) all losing up to 3%. RIO also announced that it is looking to invest US$1.5 billion in a US copper mine, and in a separate note, mentioned it is scaling back operations at a South African facility due to nearby violence.
Banks are another major contributor to broader losses with the big four down between 0.9% and 2.3%, ANZ Bank being the worst performer and Westpac (WBC) outdoing its peers. Consumer staples, energy and the tech sector are among the other major decliners.
Improvements for safe havens gold miners has been unable to overcome those losses. Australia’s largest gold miner, Newcrest Mining (NCM) is rising 1.1% while Resolute (RSG) and St Barbara (SBM) are improving more than 1.3% each.
In company news, Adairs (ADH) is rallying 19% after announcing the acquisition of online retailer Mocka for $75.5 million in a play to increase the homeware retailers’ online presence in Australia and New Zealand. Elsewhere Ooh!Media (OML) is also 20% higher after upgrading its earnings guidance by over 10% to $138-143 million for the 2019 calendar year.
The Aussie dollar has eased to 68.32 US cents on a slight miss for September quarter economic growth (GDP). So far, 1.3b units were traded worth $3.1b with 307 stocks higher, 659 lower and 333 unchanged.
Published by CommSec