SYDNEY, AAP – Shares were trading a little lower on the ASX after Facebook’s owner reported a fall in earnings and wiped the momentum for global markets.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 17.2 points, or 0.24 per cent, to 7070.5 points at 1200 AEDT.

The All Ordinaries index was lower by 29.9 points, or 0.40 per cent, to 7369.7 points.

Meta, the company that owns Facebook, earlier reported fourth quarter profits were down due to a sharp increase in expenses.

The news from the major stock came after US markets closed higher, prompting a more than 20 per cent slide in its value in after-hours trade.


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Local technology shares were down more than five per cent after the events on US markets.

Afterpay owner Block and cargo software vendor WiseTech Global each lost more than eight per cent.

Healthcare shares were down one per cent. CSL dropped by the same measure and last traded for $257.62.

Offsetting losses were materials shares. They were the best performers on the market and rose by almost one per cent.

There was plenty of progress for the big miners. BHP and Fortescue each rose two per cent to $46.57 and $20.91 respectively. Rio Tinto was higher by one per cent to $113.51.

Westpac was best of the major banks and higher by two per cent to $21.02. Its first-quarter earnings were higher by one per cent after strong contributions from treasury and markets divisions.

Net profit was up 80 per cent, compared to the quarterly average of the second half of the past financial year.

Commonwealth Bank was the only one of the majors to trade lower. Its shares were down less than one per cent to $94.01.

Sydney Airport investors have voted for a $23.6 billion takeover bid from a consortium of investors.

Airport investors other than UniSuper would receive $8.75 per security if the proposal goes ahead. UniSuper, which owns 15 per cent of the airport, will retain its stake under a new ownership.

Sydney Airport was little changed at $8.70.

Furniture trader Nick Scali was up one per cent to $14.64 after a drop in first-half earnings and payout for investors.

The company had to temporarily close about half its stores due to the coronavirus and net profit was down six per cent.

Sales orders this half are up 31 per cent on the previous year.

Domestically, the Reserve Bank will stay in the news on Friday when it delivers its monetary policy statement.

The bank on Tuesday kept rates on hold and said its decision to end its pandemic bond-buying did not imply a rate hike was on the way.

The Aussie dollar was buying 71.20 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 71.37 US cents at Wednesday’s close.