The Aussie market is weaker to start Wednesday’s session with the ASX 200 on track to snap a three session winning streak. At lunch, the benchmark index is down 38 points or 0.5% to 7,399. It was down as much as 55 points or 0.75% at its earlier lows.
Local losses follows another weaker session on Wall Street with declines for all three major US indices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average has only seen two positive sessions in September so far and is down 2.2% for the month.
The energy sector is leading today’s market slide after being the standout performer yesterday. Global oil prices were slightly firmer overnight and remain at 6-week highs. Beach Energy (BPT) is down 3.8% while Santos (STO) is 2.5% softer.
Heavyweight miners and banks are also lower and acting as a major drag on the broader market. Most of the big four lenders are down at least 0.5% each. While BHP Group (BHP) is down 3% and is now trading at the lowest levels since the start of December 2020.
Lithium miners are managing to lift however with Pilbara Minerals (PLS) jumping 9.7% on strong demand for its Spodumene concentrate (feedstock material used in lithium for EV batteries) via a digital auction on the Battery Material Exchange (BMX) while Orocobre (ORE) is 3% higher.
The healthcare sector is rising most as CSL Ltd (CSL) lifts 1% while Cochlear (COH) and ResMed (RMD) are also advancing 1.7% each. Technology is the next best sector with Wisetech (WTC) adding 2.2% and Aftrpay (APT) also edging higher by 0.4%.
In economic news, Australian September consumer sentiment or confidence rose 2% to 106.2 points for the month despite the COVID lockdowns across the states of NSW and Victoria. Sentiment also remains well above the trough of a year ago.
There is also retail sales, investment and production data due out of China today as well. The Aussie dollar is weaker and buys just above 73 US cents.
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