SYDNEY, AAP – Australia’s share market was falling at the end of the week and technology shares were extending their wretched start to 2022.

The market was down 0.84 per cent on Friday and technology shares were lower by almost three per cent after a tough night on Wall Street.

The US Nasdaq dropped by 2.5 per cent as Federal Reserve officials spoke about inflation and the need to raise interest rates.

The biggest technology company on the ASX fell 7.55 per cent to $70.25.

Online furniture trader Temple and Webster plunged by about the same measure to $9.16.


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ASX technology shares have dropped almost 10 per cent to start 2022.

There were losses of about one per cent for shares in healthcare, financials, consumer staples and energy.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was down 63.2 points, or 0.84 per cent, to 7411.2 points at 1200 AEDT.

The All Ordinaries index was lower by 60.8 points, or 0.77 per cent, to 7736.7 points.

In company news, financial crimes watchdog AUSTRAC has expanded its investigation into casino operator Star Entertainment.

The Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre (AUSTRAC) last year flagged serious problems in how casino operators try to prevent financial crimes.

The regulator has yet to say what action it may take.

Star was down 1.1 per cent to $3.58.

Shares in fashion retailer City Chic Collective surged after it reported better-than-expected first-half earnings.

Strong sales, particularly in the USA, offset a coronavirus earnings impacts of $4 million.

Shares rose 11.18 per cent to $4.97.

Jeweller Michael Hill showed it was on course for better first-half earnings after a strong second quarter.

Online sales and higher profit margins helped second-quarter sales rise almost 10 per cent on the same period last year.

First-half earnings are tipped to be between $49 million to $53 million, more than the previous $44.6 million.

Shares were even at $1.43.

The big banks were all lower but by no more than about one per cent. Westpac fared worst and shed 1.03 per cent to $21.50.

Materials shares were one of the best categories amid the market downturn.

Mining giants BHP and Fortescue were little changed. Rio Tinto, which thrived on a higher iron ore price on Thursday, dropped 0.9 per cent to $110.69.

Elsewhere, global investment manager Pendal revealed a disappointing December quarter.

UK institutional clients were responsible for outflows of $5.1 billion, mostly in Pendal’s global opportunities strategy.

Pendal was down almost 13 per cent to $5.17.

The Australian dollar was buying 72.77 US cents at 1200 AEDT, lower from 72.87 US cents at Thursday’s close.