SYDNEY, AAP – Big losses for the iron ore miners have shares set for a fourth consecutive day of losses on the ASX.
The biggest of the miners, BHP, dropped more than six per cent on Thursday after similar losses the day prior following its full-year earnings.
BHP plans to move its shares from the London Stock Exchange to the ASX. Shaw and Partners chief investment officer Martin Crabb said investors thought the Aussie ones were the more expensive.
The falling price of iron ore is also weighing on the miners’ fortunes.
Fortescue shares lost more than four per cent. Rio Tinto shed almost four per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 38 points, or 0.50 per cent, to 7464.1 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was down 33.7 points, or 0.43 per cent, to 7737.
Energy shares were down almost two per cent as investors remain worried about the outlook for fuel demand as COVID-19 infections surge worldwide.
Origin Energy’s full-year loss also had a troubling story for investors.
The company lost $2.3 billion and flagged continuing vulnerability in its energy markets business due to lower power prices and higher fuel costs.
Origin will pay an unfranked final dividend of 7.5 cents a share, down from 10 cents a year ago.
Shares were down 2.17 per cent to $4.27.
The best performing shares on the ASX were consumer discretionaries. Bunnings owner Wesfarmers rose 1.12 per cent to $65.60.
Wall Street’s main indexes dropped overnight after minutes from the Federal Reserve’s policy meeting last month showed officials felt the employment benchmark for reducing support to the economy “could be reached this year”.
Investors are looking for signs about when the central bank will rein in its easy money policies, including tapering its bond-buying program.
In Australia, the unemployment rate unexpectedly dropped to 4.6 per cent in July.
Economists do not expect the trend will continue given lengthy lockdowns in Melbourne and NSW.
Corporate earnings reports were the main interest on the ASX.
Customers at Queensland casinos have helped Star Entertainment turn a full-year profit after a loss the prior year.
The Star Gold Coast and Treasury Brisbane had improved earnings and were the main force behind a net profit after tax of $57.9 million.
No final dividend was paid.
Shares were up 6.93 per cent to $3.62.
Treasury Wine Estates has preserved its full-year profit despite losing a big chunk of its key China market and amid the coronavirus pandemic.
The owner of brands such as Penfolds, Wolf Blass and Lindemans on Thursday reported net profit for the year to June 30 rose 1.8 per cent to $250 million.
Shares were down 2.16 per cent to $12.41.
Market giant CSL recovered most of Wednesday’s losses following its full-year earnings. Shares were up up 1.33 per cent to $297.49.
In banking, the big four were mixed. ANZ was best of the group and higher by 0.33 per cent to $28.56.
The Australian dollar was buying 72.13 US cents at 1200 AEST, lower than 72.62 US cents at Wednesday’s close.