Most sectors were down, particularly energy, while consumer staples and health care edged higher. Image by Joel Carrett/AAP PHOTOS

financial markets

Aust shares slip for fourth day this week

2020-07-10 17:40:03

The Australian share market has finished lower for the fourth time this week as investors ponder the impact of virus lockdowns in Victoria. 

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index finished Friday down 36.3 points, or 0.61 per cent, at 5,919.2 points, while the All Ordinaries index closed down 38.6, or 0.64 per cent, at 6,036.3.

The ASX200 lost 138.7 points for the week, or 2.3 per cent, in just its third losing week in the past 11.

“In numerous occasions in recent days we’ve been going from the opposite direction of Wall Street,” said Bell Direct market analyst Jessica Amir.

“The biggest thing for us is Victoria, which contributes 20 per cent to GDP, going into lockdown this week,” Ms Amir said.

But buy now, pay later companies continued with their phenomenal run on the back of an upbeat analysis by Morgan Stanley.

Zip Co rose 8.1 per cent to an all-time high of $7.24, Splitit climbed 3.2 per cent to $1.62 and Afterpay hit an all-time high of $76.62 but closed lower, down 1.6 per cent to $72.31.

Sezzle was in a trading halt as the instalment payment provider looked to raise $86.3 million to fund its growth.

Online furniture merchant Temple & Webster also soared 12.1 per cent to an all-time closing high of $7.60.

E-commerce has been the winner of the coronavirus pandemic and sales could receive another boost from Melburnians being under lockdown for six weeks.

Most of the market was down, however. Energy shares took the biggest hit, collectively falling 2.0 per cent, after oil prices fell amid worries that renewed restrictions in the US states would reduce demand.

Oil Search dropped 4.2 per cent to $3, while Santos, Woodside, Origin Energy and Beach Energy were all down between 1.9 and 2.4 per cent.

Most of the big banks were down, with ANZ dipping 1.0 per cent to $18.30, Westpac 1.4 per cent lower at $17.66, and NAB down 1.1 per cent to $17.86.

Commonwealth Bank was the outlier, rising 0.3 per cent to $70.63.

The heavyweight mining sector was also lower, with BHP and Rio Tinto both dropping 0.7 per cent, to $36.19 and $97.99 respectively, while South32 fell 2.4 per cent to $2.04.

Goldminers were lower as well with Newcrest, Evolution, Saracen and Northern Star all down between 0.9 per cent and 3.0 per cent.

New Zealand telecommunications company Chorus dropped 7.5 per cent to $6.76 after announcing the lockdowns there had significantly reduced fibre installations during the fourth quarter.

Webjet dropped 4.4 per cent to $3.02 after settling $163 million in convertible notes.

Nine dropped 0.4 per cent to $1.37 after announcing its chief financial officer, Paul Koppelman, had resigned following the death of a family member.

Freelancer Limited surged 31.3 per cent to 65 cents after eBay Motors partnered with its Escrow.com division to offer secure escrow payments in the United States.

Fluence Corp gained 17.5 per cent to 23.5 cents after the water treatment specialist announced it had been cashflow-positive in the June quarter.

The Australian dollar was buying 69.30 US cents, down from 69.86 US cents at the close of local trade on Thursday.

ON THE ASX

* The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index on Friday closed down 36.3 points, or 0.61 per cent, at 5,919.2 points

* The All Ordinaries closed down 38.6 points, or 0.64 per cent, at 6,036.3 points

* At 1726 AEST, the SPI200 futures index up one point, 0.02 per cent, at 5,877 points

CURRENCY SNAPSHOT

One Australian dollar buys:

* 69.33 US cents, from 69.91 US cents on Thursday

* 74.907 Japanese yen, from 74.97 yen

* 61.54 euro cents, from 61.56 cents

* 55.12 British pence, from 55.26 pence

* 105.75 NZ cents, from 106.12 cents.