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Australian stocks fell for the second week as Covid-19 cases rose, disappointing US data | Instant News


By Soumyajit Saha

That Australian benchmark index fell on Friday to its lowest close in three weeks, posting a second consecutive weekly decline as gains corona virus cases raise fears of tighter lockouts and dismal data from the United States destroys risk sentiment.

The country recorded the deadliest day of the coronavirus pandemic on Thursday with 14 deaths, bringing the total death toll from the virus to 190, more than half of them in Victoria.

“That we can see tighter restrictions on Victoria because it continues to see improvements Covid-19 cases and groups that develop … will have a big impact on the overall economic performance of the country because they contribute a fair amount of output, “said James Tao, market analyst at CommSec.

Further weighing on sentiment, data showed that the US economy suffered the biggest blow since the Great Depression in the second quarter, largely due to the slump caused by viruses.

The S & P / ASX 200 index fell 2 percent to 5,927.8 points and fell 1.6 percent for the week. The index is up 0.5 percent for this month.

Among sectors, the energy subindex dropped by 4 percent to reach its lowest level in 2-1 / 2 months, with Woodside Petroleum and Santos Ltd. give up 2 percent and 3 percent, respectively.

Electric and gas retailers Original Energy down nearly 5 percent as it posted a decline in fourth-quarter revenue from its share in the Australia Pacific LNG (APLNG) project. Finance fell 2.8 percent, with the “big four” banks losing between 2.2 percent and 3.3 percent. Mining stocks fell 2.4 percent, with global miners BHP Group and Rio Tinto dropped 2.9 percent and 2.4 percent respectively.

AMP Ltd’s wealth manager is the biggest loser on the index, having said they expect underlying profits to be more than half in the first half.

New Zealand’s S & P / NZX 50 benchmark index ended 0.3 percent higher, helped by gains between health and industry stocks.

The index is up 0.8 percent for the week, and posted a 2.4 percent rise this month.

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Australian stocks give up on viral concerns; Fed decision awaited | Instant News


Australian shares surrendered initial gains to settle lower on Wednesday, as investors cautious in the face of a worsening domestic coronavirus crisis, and ahead US Federal Reserve policy decisions and major income statements.

The S & P / ASX 200 index fell 0.2% to 6,006.4 in low trading volume after rising 0.5% previously.

Australian officials send emergency medical teams to nursing homes in Melbourne, one of several virus clusters that have sprung up in pubs, restaurants and schools throughout the city, to help deal with the epidemic that is spreading quickly.

“We see evidence in the US earnings reporting season for damage done by new outbreaks, and we can see the same effect in the reporting season here,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets.

Wednesday’s movement also pointed to “a lack of commitment from buyers and sellers”, especially ahead of risk events such as the Fed’s policy decisions and earnings reports from US heavyweight technology companies later this week, McCarthy added.

Dampening investor sentiment further, data showed Australian consumer prices fell by a record last quarter as the coronavirus crisis caused one slide in various costs.

Among the losers, the mining sector lost 1.6%, with BHP Group and Rio Tinto fell 2% and 0.7% respectively.

Energy stock drops by more than 1%, with Woodside Petroleum Ltd and Santos Ltd. lost 1.3% and 1.5%, respectively.

Finance, however, rose with the ‘big four’ banks up between 1.1% and 2.1%, after domestic financial watchdogs withdrew demand for banks and insurance companies to freeze dividends due to a pandemic.

IGO Ltd nickel miners are the worst performers on the benchmark index after signaling weakening of gold and nickel production in 2021.

New Zealand’s S & P / NZX 50 benchmark index ended 0.2% higher at 11,599.4, helped by gains in financial stocks and health care.

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