SYDNEY, AAP – Most of the Australian share market was lower to start the week although the banks and miners were yet to make a clear move.
The market was down about 0.6 per cent on Monday after Wall Street fell on Friday due to low jobs growth.
ASX technology shares were faring worst. Afterpay was down almost four per cent to $118.13 at 1200 AEDT.
Healthcare, consumer discretionaries and property also had sizeable losses. Market giant CSL slipped 1.49 per cent to $286.13.
Energy shares were best. Energy prices continue to climb as economic activity recovers from pandemic lows.
The Australian economy should be boosted from Monday due to the easing of coronavirus restrictions in its most populous state, NSW.
Shops, clubs and restaurants have re-opened to queues of customers.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 45.9 points, or 0.62 per cent, to 7274.2.
The All Ordinaries was down 44 points, or 0.57 per cent, to 7573.3.
Casino group Star Entertainment has defended its operations after claims it is unwittingly allowing money laundering and fraud.
The owners of The Star Sydney casino responded to Nine media reports which alleged anti-money laundering controls were lax.
Star said the reports were misleading although it could not publicly discuss individual cases.
Shares were down more than 18 per cent to $3.50.
Insurers claim they may benefit from a court decision on whether they must pay businesses’ claims of losses due to the pandemic.
The Federal Court gave judgement on a second test case on Friday.
Insurance giant IAG said the court found in favour of insurers on some questions and customers on others.
IAG shares were up 4.43 per cent to $5.42.
Rival insurer Suncorp improved by 0.47 per cent to $12.75.
The major banks were little changed. NAB fared worst and shed 0.24 per cent to $28.31.
The big miners were a little better overall. BHP lost 0.3 per cent, while Fortescue and Rio Tinto gained less than one per cent each.
Ampol looks like having its takeover offer for New Zealand fuel supplier Z Energy accepted.
The latter’s board has approved Ampol’s bid to pay $NZ3.78 for each share on the New Zealand stock exchange.
Ampol shares were up 3.42 per cent to $30.17.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.16 US cents at 1200 AEDT, higher from 73.00 US cents at Friday’s close.