SYDNEY, AAP – Widespread selling has permeated the ASX on the first day of spring after US traders had concerns about their economy.
Most ASX share categories were lower on Wednesday and the biggest declines of more than one per cent were in consumer stocks and healthcare.
Energy shares were the only category higher and rose 0.67 per cent.
The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was lower by 42.6 points, or 0.56 per cent, to 7492.3 at 1200 AEST.
The All Ordinaries was down 43 points, or 0.54 per cent, to 7708.3.
The downbeat mood was set by US markets, which had marginal losses.
US consumer confidence fell sharply in August and showed the impact the Delta variant of the coronavirus is having on the economy.
Investors are gauging which areas of the market are poised to benefit in the coming months as supply constraints continue hampering some industries.
In Australia, the economy cannot yet be said to be in recession after it grew in the June quarter.
The economy grew by 0.7 per cent but this was much slower than the previous quarter growth of 1.9 per cent.
The September quarter will show a substantial contraction due to lockdowns in the ACT, NSW and Victoria.
Airline Rex has extended its suspension of most flights until October 10 due to the lockdowns.
Many staff will be stood down from work for the same period, although the airline is providing some regional flights.
Rex began flying between some capital cities, including Sydney and Melbourne, early this year.
Shares were down 0.83 per cent to $1.19.
Woolworths boss Brad Banducci sold $5.8 million worth of shares after receiving more in his latest pay deal.
Mr Banducci sold 140,000 shares for $41.45 each after being given 174,586 as part of his pay.
He still owns 365,729 shares.
Shares in the company were down 2.14 per cent to $40.85.
Bunnings owner Wesfarmers traded ex-dividend and lost three per cent to $58.15.
Elsewhere on the market, the big miners had notable losses.
BHP declined by 1.11 per cent to $45.10. Fortescue shed 3.04 per cent to $20.36. Rio Tinto lost 2.18 per cent to $109.61.
The big four banks were mixed. NAB was best and rose 0.72 per cent to $27.93.
Trading stocks in retail operator Mosaic Brands was paused prior to a share sale.
The company behind Katies, Noni B and Rockmans on Tuesday flagged a capital raising to improve its balance sheet amid the pandemic.
Shares last traded lower by 3.19 per cent to 46 cents.
The Australian dollar was buying 73.17 US cents, lower than 73.38 US cents at Tuesday’s close.