SYDNEY, AAP – Big losses for iron ore miners have been producing what may become the worst day of the week for the Australian share market.
Iron ore specialist Fortescue Metals slumped by almost 10 per cent, while BHP and Rio Tinto sagged by more than three per cent after the price of the steel-making commodity fell as low as $US107 per tonne.
Chinese steel mills have made fewer orders, after earlier this year pushing the price to more than $US200 per tonne.
The Australian market was down by 0.89 per cent at 1200 AEST and most share categories were lower.
Energy providers had the most sizeable falls after materials shares. Beach, Oil Search and Santos lost more than one per cent.
US markets provided a mostly negative lead as rising US Treasury yields pressured big tech stocks, and a rising US dollar weighed on exporters.
Unexpectedly strong US retail sales data underscored the strength of the economic recovery from the coronavirus.
The Dow Jones and S&P 500 slipped while the Nasdaq had an almost equally minor gain.
In Australia, the benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 67.1 points, or 0.89 per cent, to 7393.1.
The All Ordinaries was down by 70.8 points, or 0.91 per cent, to 7689.
Shares in financial software vendor Iress crashed by 11.23 per cent to $12.01 after a potential takeover was scrapped.
EQT Funds Management proposed buying all shares for about $15.91 but decided not to proceed.
EQT chair of Asia Pacific Thomas Von Koch said there were no red flags but the investment hypothesis could not be confirmed.
The big four banks were all lower. NAB had the greatest loss, 1.22 per cent, and last traded for $27.85.
Technology was the best performing category and higher by almost one per cent.
Afterpay was having its best day on the market since August 10. Shares were up 2.91 per cent to $127.14.
Air New Zealand borrowed more money from the government as lockdowns continue to weigh on its finances.
The carrier said it has borrowed a total of $NZ435 million ($A422 million) from the government.
The national lockdown and suspension of quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand is costing the airline at least $NZ65 million ($A63 million) per month.
Shares were down 1.33 per cent to $1.48.
Engineering group CIMIC will reap $265 million by providing Western Sydney Airport with pavement.
The company’s subsidiary, CPB Contractors, won a contract for the project by partnering with Acciona.
Shares were lower by 1.52 per cent to $20.07.
The Australian dollar was buying 72.83 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower than 73.20 US cents at Thursday’s close.